According to the Bright Blue report, titled Standing Alone?, more than three-quarters (80 per cent) of the UK’s self-employed are “overwhelmingly satisfied” with their jobs, compared to 74 per cent of full-time employees.
However, the report also suggested that self-employed people are twice as likely to live in ‘low income’ households and that they can work fairly long weeks, often working for up to 38 hours a week.
The report also revealed the top three issues faced by the self-employed, including income fluctuations, lack of holiday pay and difficulties saving enough money.
David Kirkby, author of the report, stated: “Self-employed people on low income should be the priority. Earnings from self-employment have fallen in recent years, and the self-employed are now more likely to be on low income than employees.
“Self-employed individuals on low income are often in a particularly precarious situation financially. They typically experience significant fluctuations in their earnings which can be difficult to manage. They receive only limited access to existing state welfare and have low savings rates.”
UK freelance workers are motivated and happy, and often able to earn more for the same amount of work as their employed counterparts, according to a recent study.
Recruitment firm MBA & Co. conducted a survey of independent consultants, which revealed that 91 per cent of independent workers were satisfied with their freelance career, while 67 per cent said they were earning as much if not more than they did in traditional employment.
The study also found that two in three people are now working fewer hours than they did in their last employed position, while 67 per cent stated that they are earning as much, if not more, money.
According to the research, two in three people stated that they originally turned to self-employment to enable them to pursue other business interests, while over 50 per cent said they were looking for a better work/life balance.
Nine out of 10 freelance workers who have moved over from traditional employment are satisfied with their new lifestyle, according to a new study.
According to the study, the main motivation for turning to self-employment is to pursue other interests, according to 62 per cent. More than half of those surveyed also stated that having a better work/life balance also encouraged them to pursue self-employment.
The study also revealed that women were more likely to choose freelancing as a means of achieving a better work/life balance than men, with 62 per cent of women stating as much compared to 57 per cent of men. However, 49 per cent of men said they miss the buzz of a conventional office, compared to just 37 per cent of women.
Speaking on behalf of MBA & Co., chief executive Daniel Callaghan stated that the findings clearly highlight the reasons why freelance working is becoming increasingly appealing in some sectors of the UK workplace, particularly within the higher levels of countrywide businesses.
“It is clear that self-employment has become a very attractive alternative to a traditional career in management,” he said.
The study demonstrates that self-employment is become and increasingly attractive alternative to traditional employment for many reasons. “There is a huge migration towards self-employment amongst higher management in business, and this survey helps understand the reasons why so many people are jumping ship.”
An increased workload makes freelance workers happier, according to a new study published in the SAGE journal Human Relations.
Researchers Stephen Wood from the University of Leicester and George Michaelides from Birkbeck, University of London, have discovered that freelance workers become calmer and had greater enthusiasm for their job when they had higher than normal hours of work.
However, the study also revealed that anxiety levels significantly increased when work became tougher, potentially leading to depression in some more extreme cases.
Based on an analysis of 45 freelance workers over six months, the researchers found that increased demands were negatively affecting the participants’ work-life balance, particularly in terms of fulfilling family and other non-work commitments.
However, while work-life balance increased or decreased with the size of the workload, the well-being of the freelancers was affected differently depending on the type of work that was being completed.
According to the study, less difficult tasks that took long hours still generate enthusiasm and feelings of well-being, even though it continued to interfere with work-life balance. The researchers have suggested that this phenomenon is caused by freelancers’ common view of long hours as a challenge rather than a barrier, creating positive feelings when a workload increases.
39 per cent of permanent employees feel they are not valued at work
One third of permanent employees would prefer to have the flexible working hours enjoyed by the self-employed rather than a three per cent pay rise, according to new research.
Research conducted by Investors in People (IiP) revealed that one in five permanent employees complain of high workloads, with nearly 23 per cent concerned by their lack of career progression.
The study also revealed that nearly a third of employees are miserable in their jobs, with 43 per cent citing poor management as the biggest problem, while 39 per cent feel they are not valued at work.
As part of the study, respondents were also asked to choose between a three per cent pay rise or a non-remuneration benefit. According to the results, one third of employees stated that they would prefer the more flexible approach to working hours enjoyed by sole traders, rather than a pay rise.
Paul Devoy, head of Investors in People, has suggested that flexible working should be introduced by employers to prevent loss of valuable, skilled workers as the economy improves.
“Saying thank you, involving employees in decisions and giving them responsibility over their work are basic ways to make staff happier, and more likely to stay,” Devoy added. “Employers also win, with a more committed workforce, higher retention and a clearer view of the future.”
More businesses than ever before are adopting flexible working policies, claiming that they increase performance, according to a new survey.
Published by Vodafone, the Flexible: Friend of Foe report based on a survey of 8,000 employers across 10 countries revealed that 75 per cent of businesses across the world have implemented flexible working practices in order to vary employee working hours.
The report also suggested that 61 per cent of businesses surveyed said the introduction of flexible working had increased their profits, while 83 per cent said it had helped improve productivity and 58 per cent said adopting flexible policies had benefited their company reputation.
However, of those who had not introduced a flexible working policy, 33 per cent said they did not feel it would suit their company culture, while 22 per cent were concerned that employees would not work as hard.
Commenting on the survey, Vodafone group enterprise chief executive Nick Jeffery said: “Employers are telling us that flexible working boosts profits while their employees tell us they’re more productive.”
He added: “Central to all of this are the new technologies that are reshaping every sector, from high-speed mobile data networks and fixed-line broadband to the latest collaborative cloud services. We truly are in an era when work is what you do, not where you go.”