How can becoming a contractor make work seem more meaningful?

Tuesday 1st September, 2015
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More than one-third of workers in the UK do not feel that their job is meaningful - but how could contracting change this?

New research from YouGov shows that 37 per cent of the country's workforce feel that their job is making no meaningful contribution to the world - something that was made evident through signs posted at Tube stations earlier this year featuring quotes such as: "Huge swathes of people spend their days performing tasks they secretly believe do not really need to be performed." This suggests that a significant number of people believe their jobs to be uninspiring, un-motivating and a drain on their lives.

What's more, further research carried out by the organisation last year led to the discovery that more than half (57 per cent) of UK workers would support the introduction of a four-day working week.

But what exactly is behind this attitude? And how could going it alone as a limited company contractor help to change this negative feeling?

What the survey found

Under half (49 per cent) of the workers questioned by YouGov said they would be proud to reveal their job title to someone they met for the first time, with eight per cent admitting to feeling embarrassed about what they do for a living.

Just half of respondents felt sure they were doing something meaningful at work, with 33 per cent stating that they did not find their job personally fulfilling.

Interestingly, gender variations could be seen within the data, with women apparently happier in their current jobs than men, with just 32 per cent of females feeling that their current position was meaningless in comparison to 42 per cent of males.

The results also differed from region to region, with 41 per cent of London-based workers reporting that their jobs were unfulfilling, while in the Midlands and Wales, the proportion of the workforce that was unhappy in their current roles dropped to just 26 per cent.

Demographically, middle class people were more likely to say that their jobs were meaningless and unfulfilling, with 39 per cent reporting this, in comparison to 30 per cent of working class respondents.

Despite these results, there appeared to be an air of apathy when it came to finding a new role, with only 53 per cent of those who said they had a meaningless job reporting that they would consider changing positions in the next 12 months.

How could contracting change this attitude?

Becoming a limited company contractor or freelancer brings with it many benefits, including the opportunity to choose your own working hours and set your own pay rates, as well as do something you love and feel passionate about on a daily basis.

What's more, leaving your current job and going it alone instead could also make you happier, according to research carried out last year by Etsy and the RSA.

The organisations' Salvation in a Start-Up report revealed that 84 per cent of people who work for themselves are more satisfied with their career than if they were employed by another business.

With some 15 per cent of the UK's total workforce now choosing to operate in this capacity, it appears this is a popular and fulfilling way of working for many.

Setting up as the director of your own limited company also brings with it additional responsibilities that you may not have had in a previous role, allowing you to take charge of your career and ensure your job means something to you.

However, it's important to remember that you will have to deal with your limited company admin so make sure that you're aware of HMRC's deadlines to ensure your company’s statutory documents are submitted on time so you don't fall into any trouble.

If you are struggling to keep on top of things then PayStream's My PSC service is here to help. We can help you with your limited company admin and advise you when needed, making sure that you remain compliant with HMRC. Get in touch with one of the team today to find out more.



Under half (49 per cent) of the workers questioned by YouGov said they would be proud to reveal their job title to someone they met for the first time, with eight per cent admitting to feeling embarrassed about what they do for a living.