Self-employed reveal their weekly hours

The longs-hours culture synonymous with working for oneself as a business has moved only a minute or two for most freelancers, a series of studies suggests.

Having polled more than 500 micro-businesses earlier this year, FreeAgent found that almost a third put in at least 48 hours a week -- identical to the 30% who did the same in 2016.

More one-person empires seem to be doing self-employment ‘light’ however. Last year, just 4 per cent did no more than 16 hours but this year, that proportion has doubled to 8 per cent.

In both years, the likeliest weekly input for the freelancers was between 32 and 48 hours. The chunk of them working these hours has shrunk -- albeit fractionally, as it has done for those managing to somehow invest an unhealthy 64 hours a week.

But slightly more freelancers are currently falling in between the two time-spent categories, saying their self-employed career requires a weekly commitment of between 48 and 64 hours.

Former freelancer Ed Molyneux, FreeAgent’s boss, said the figures were a reminder that working for oneself can be “very hard and challenging.”

He reflected: “Although many freelancers and micro-business owners enjoy more flexibility over when and where they can work, our research shows that they are actually likely to work just as many hours as people who are not self-employed -- and sometimes a lot more.

“That’s because they have to manage all of the admin and behind-the-scenes parts of their business, not just the parts that they get paid for.”


Oct 5, 2017
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