By Jonathan London on 29th January 2015

Research shows that freelancers are the happiest workers

We all know that stepping into the world of freelancing comes with so many benefits (plus a few drawbacks). From being as flexible as you like within the working day, to having more say in the actual jobs you do, it is of little surprise really that approximately 4.6 million of the UK’s workforce are self-employed – check out our infographic ‘A Timeline of UK Self-Employment‘ for more information.

Freelancers have even more reason to celebrate now as new research has shown that working for yourself can make you happier than ever.

A group at the University of Brighton’s Business School has received funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council to investigate the satisfaction levels of freelancers. They surveyed 304 freelancers, receiving a 25.8 per cent response rate and conducted 32 qualitative interviews also as part of the research.

Of the 304 freelancers, many had been previously made redundant, and the general consensus was that they felt a lot more satisfied in their careers while being their own boss than they had in ‘traditional’ employment. In fact, 94 per cent said they preferred to be self-employed.

The study showed that of those surveyed, the majority worked approximately 38 hours a week and had an annual wage of £43,000, which compared to the national average of £25,000, is significantly higher. It also found that freelancers had high levels of innovation and felt they were more often than not working for clients on exciting, cutting-edge projects.

This especially rings true for those working within the digital sector and there is little doubt that the skills gap plays a part in this.

Digital economy minister, Ed Vaizey, said: Our digital economy is already one of the strongest markets in the world and the UK creative industries generate £71 billion in revenue each year and support 1.71 million jobs.This study shows that the self-employed play a key role in driving the culture of innovation in the creative and digital industries and are a vital part of Britain’s economic growth.

Jonathan London Written by Jonathan London

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