Happiness is freelancing, say self-employed

Work is a means to happiness for ‘permies’ but is an actual source of happiness for freelancers and the self-employed, a survey shows.

In fact, having polled over 400 one-man bands and full-time employees, it was those who worked for themselves who emerged as more likely to report feeling ‘extremely happy.’

This is not to say that full-timers are not happy – “generally” they were, but they regarded work as a way to get happy outside of their 9-to-5, shows the poll by a-connect.

For freelancers however, work itself is closely tied to general happiness and health, as opposed to being a facilitator for other activities that contribute to happiness.

When all respondents were asked ‘Given the opportunity, would you change your employment tomorrow?' most of the full timers said they ‘probably would.'

A majority (albeit smaller) also emerged among the freelancers, but they gave exactly the opposite response -- a resounding 'definitely not' when asked if they wish to change what they do.

This implied fondness for self employment is despite the longer hours it involves – 42% of freelancers worked 40-50hr weeks, while 52% of permies worked 30-40hr weeks.

“It's difficult to determine whether this is primarily through choice or need,” said a-connect. “[But pay] does not vary hugely between employment types and most are satisfied with their remuneration and believe it to be in line with their experience and output.”

Still, even then, freelancers emerged as happier with their levels of remuneration (59% ‘satisfied’) than employees (56% ‘satisfied’).


18th February 2016

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