Self-employed professionals happier than traditional workers

Friday 30 September 2016

The majority of self-employed professionals in the UK are happier working for themselves than they were when employed by a company, according to new research. A new study by Markel has found that nine out of ten British self-employed workers are happy with their current role.

Respondents to the survey cited three main reasons for enjoying self-employment over working for a company. These were being their own boss, more freedom in their working life and the flexibility to plan work around other things. In fact, 40 per cent admitted that they don't miss anything about the typical working environment.

Those who admitted missing a traditional working environment mostly stated that greater social interaction and spending time with colleagues were the biggest factors.

Although the majority of self-employed workers rated their job satisfaction as being high, many admitted that they don't get to spend a lot of time with their family. Around 18 per cent said they just see family between one and four hours a week, while 20 per cent only see them for less than one hour in a week.

Also, they are less likely to take many holidays, with 26 per cent taking fewer than five holiday days within a year. 

Other concerns highlighted by self-employed workers were the lack of a daily structure and job insecurity. The biggest worry was income, with self-employed people not receiving a regular salary, an issue that was raised by 35 per cent of respondents.

Despite these facts, the overwhelming majority of the 250 self-employed people surveyed are still happy with their situation. 

The findings to this survey contrast with the 2015 CIPD report, which shows that those working in traditional environments are experiencing lower job satisfaction. In fact, job satisfaction is at its lowest for two years.

Self-employed people living in Wales and the South-West were found to be the happiest workers, as well as those aged 45 and over.

Paul Aveyard, digital marketing manager at Markel said: "Those in full-time employment are often considered to be at an advantage compared to the self-employed and those working in the gig economy.

"But nearly all of the self-employed seem to prefer working for themselves, so much so that a quarter of them take less than five days holiday a year and well over a third spend only up to four hours a week with their family. They seem to really like their work and being their own boss."


By Victoria McDonnell

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