Majority of UK workforce looking to become self-employed?

Monday 25 September 2017

As a freelancer, you will be very familiar with the benefits of being self-employed. The flexibility, the sense of reward and the level of control you have over your working life are all major positives that make the decision to work for yourself worthwhile. It should be no surprise, therefore, that the majority of the UK workforce would like to join you.

New research has come to light suggesting that most British employees are considering leaving their current jobs in order to become self-employed. This comes courtesy of shipping solutions provider World Options, which conducted a survey of 683 people to uncover what their career goals were.

This study found that 31.5 per cent of UK workers aged between 18 and 54 are interested in working for themselves. Another 19.5 per cent reported that they "dream" about becoming self-employed, while 16.5 per cent of the respondents said they were making plans to do so. Added together, this equates to 67.5 per cent of the UK workforce that is either thinking about self-employment or taking steps towards being their own boss.

The survey provided some insight as to why the UK's employees are so attracted by the idea of self-employment. When asked what their work-related goals were, the respondents' most popular choices were work/life balance and being happy at work. This suggests that the nine-to-five model of working isn't providing this for many people.

Warren Ferguson, franchise director at World Options, said: "These statistics suggest that a huge proportion of the UK’s workforce is currently disillusioned in their current jobs and that working for themselves is a serious consideration, so that they can have their needs met and enjoy the life that they dream of."

This age group is taking things seriously. According to the survey, 22 per cent of the respondents expect to be self-employed within the next five to ten years. For an idea of the impact of this, if it was expanded to the entirety of the UK workforce it would mean almost 6.2 million people leaving their jobs to become freelancers before 2027.

Mr Ferguson added: "This research further suggest that UK workers also appear to be confident and optimistic about the prospect of taking the leap of faith out of the nine-to-five rat race. There has never been a better time to work for yourself and this sentiment appears to be working its way through offices across the UK."


By Victoria McDonnell

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