Freelancers admit to anxiety over remote working

Anxiety-easing tips look par for the course for freelancers as a new study says that while most like their remote work set-up, top challenges for the self-employed do cause uneasiness.

So despite a little over half of freelancers cheering the flexibility of working remotely to the study's researchers, only one in five with such autonomy described it as totally ‘problem-free.’

In other words, while most of the self-employed find their way of working beneficial, an even bigger chunk – 80% – say it has issues. And those issues sound like they in turn cause ‘issues.’

In fact, although difficulty communicating with clients and difficulty getting client feedback affected the largest proportions (27% for both these more practical problems), not far behind were three gripes all related to personal anxiety.  

The three are; “not feeling part of a team” – voiced by more than quarter; a feeling of ‘disconnectedness’  -- voiced by about a fifth, and feelings of loneliness – also affecting about one in five.

The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed, which commissioned the study for a new report with, said the government should promote co-working spaces and opportunities.

Explaining its recommendation, the association said previous research has shown that such collaborative working constitutes “one of the most effective ways of combatting isolation and loneliness.”

IPSE therefore wants co-working hubs promoted by the government on a nationwide basis, on top of its wish that freelancers’ clients do more to “understand the needs of their self-employed remote workers.”

Interestingly, in the joint-study showing only one in five believe remote working as a freelancer is problem-free, a hefty three-quarters of the respondents said they had not used a co-working space.

Hinting at the need for broadband improvements, but also sounding mindful of freelancers’ anxiety levels, the study’s authors said: “The government should explore ways to make sure remote workers have access to the networks and communications channels they need to work effectively off-site.”


26th April 2019

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