Freelancers "happier than employees", says study

14 June 2017


Freelancers "happier than employees", says studyNew research suggests that the self-employed are happier than salaried workers and that going freelance improves wellbeing.

The study by freelancer association IPSE concludes that it is "overwhelmingly clear" that freelancing has a "significantly positive" effect on wellbeing.

Published to mark this year's National Freelancers Day, IPSE surveyed 1,053 freelancers and found that 84% are "very satisfied" with working for themselves. Recent CIPD research found just 64% of employees felt the same about their employment.

In addition, nearly two-thirds of those polled (64%) said they plan to work as a freelancer for the foreseeable future.

The poll found that the biggest factors driving people to go freelance are:

  • better work-life balance (60%);
  • control over work (60%);
  • increased earning potential (60%);
  • greater control of hours (53%);
  • a desire to start a business/be entrepreneurial (44%);
  • freelance work is standard in my sector (34%);
  • not wanting to report to someone else (25%).

The self-employed workers polled also said they were happy with the freelance life because of pride in their work and the confidence they have in their ability to handle challenges. However, 30% of respondents said they suffer from stress because of worries about financial security.

Suneeta Johal, IPSE's head of research, education and training, said: "While it's true that working for yourself can be hard, we found that freelancing can be a very rewarding way to work.

"Freelancers tend to be happier and more motivated than employees, so it would be no surprise if this way of working continued to grow in popularity. For most people freelancing is a very positive choice offering greater control over how you spend your life and this is reflected in the overwhelming number who are satisfied with self-employment."

Data released this week by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that the number of self-employed workers in the UK rose by 103,000 in the past quarter bring the total number of self-employed people to 4.8 million.

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