Independence, improved job satisfaction and a better work-life balance - these are the key drivers for self-employed people according to new research.
A survey conducted by PeoplePerHour found that the most important reason for working for yourself was the freedom of "being your own boss" cited by 22% of respondents.
One in five (20%) also cited the need for a greater challenge, creativity, success and job satisfaction. Other important factors included: being able to work from home (13%); flexible hours (12%); and being able to balance work and family life (11%).
Tax advantages were of little importance, according to the research. When asked if the possibility of tax deductions was a motivating factor, not a single respondent agreed.
Instead, a big factor for many freelancers is childcare - 56% said childcare was a financial burden and 24% said it was a factor in their decision to work for themselves.
The survey highlights that fact that self-employment is a lifestyle decision for most people. Only 1% of those surveyed said they had to be self-employed due to the nature of their job; while 3% joined or took over the family business. Only 7% of those interviewed disliked the solitary nature of their work.
The downsides of being self-employed include worries about income and the burden of red tape. The survey found that:
- 57% said lack of stability in their work was of some concern to them;
- 51% had either experienced cashflow problems or worried about income fluctuations;
- 29% felt that they missed out on the benefits of employment;
- 19% said that filing their own tax was a burden;
- 18% felt the stress of having too much responsibility.
The average take-home earnings for UK respondents is £19,512.50. However, the majority of those polled (74%) admitted that they are not saving for their retirement.