By Lynne Gowers on 4th September 2015

Independence and flexibility key for freelancers

A desire for greater independence and flexibility have been cited among the main reasons why more and more people are opting for self-employment, according to a new study.

Conducted by freelance marketplace PeoplePerHour, the survey aimed to shed light on the factors that motivate people to go freelance, as well as to understand some of the main challenges people working for themselves tend to face.

Childcare provision was shown to play the most active role in the decision to become self-employed, with 23.6 per cent of those interviewed acknowledging it as a factor, while a broader desire for independence was the second most commonly cited reason, with 21.7 per cent mentioning this.

A need for a greater challenge, creativity, success and job satisfaction was the next most important issue, raised by 20.3 per cent of respondents, with other influential factors including the ability to work from home (13.2 per cent), flexible hours (12 per cent) and the added ease of balancing work and family life (10.7 per cent).

More than 60 per cent of those interviewed were educated to degree level or above – with only 2.3 per cent possessing no qualifications – while the annual take-home earnings average for UK self-employed people came to £19,512.50. This is £1,312.50 more than those working outside the UK.

However, the report also highlighted a number of ways in which freelancers face unique challenges. For example, 56.8 per cent of survey respondents said the uncertainty and lack of stability in their work caused them some degree of concern, while 51.5 per cent of them had either experienced cash flow problems or were worried income fluctuations.

It was also shown that 18.7 per cent feel they are missing out on the benefits of employment, 19 per cent feel burdened by filing their own tax, and 18.2 per cent feel the stress of having too much responsibility.

Written by Lynne Gowers
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