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Contractors: How looking after your wellbeing could benefit the economy

Kerry Hull

Kerry Hull | Marketing Manager

Monday 20th Aug, 2018

How could paying more attention to their personal wellbeing help limited company contractors make a better contribution to the UK economy?

Every worker needs to take steps to look after their own wellbeing in order to perform at their professional best. If people aren't feeling motivated and in the right headspace to do a good job, it's unlikely that they'll be as productive as they can be, which could affect their company, and play a small part in impacting on the wider economy.

Naturally, if the wellbeing of a significant number of workers is adversely affected, the impact on the economy will be much more tangible.

With this in mind, and as self-employment becomes increasingly popular in the UK, experts are calling for more to be done to improve the wellbeing of the nation's contractors and freelancers with a view to benefiting the economy as a whole.

So, how exactly could this be achieved, and what can limited company contractors do to try to take better care of their own wellbeing?

How improving contractors' wellbeing could boost the economy

To coincide with National Freelancers' Day a couple of months ago (June 28th), the Centre for Research on Self-Employment (CRSE) published a new report entitled The Way to Wellbeing, which looks at how self-employed people's wellbeing can affect their mindset very differently to that of regularly employed workers.

This is partly because the lines between contractors' and freelancers' personal and professional lives can be much more blurred, particularly for those who work from home.

What's more, many people choose to make the move to working for themselves in order to improve their overall life satisfaction. Therefore, if changing their working style does not have this effect, their wellbeing at both work and home can be impacted significantly - especially when there is no clear line between the two.

As a result, contractors' motivation, morale and attitude towards their work could be affected, stopping them from being as productive as they could be. And if this is how a large number of self-employed people are feeling, the impact on the country's overall productivity and indeed the economy could be notable.

Proposed actions to boost contractor wellbeing

The CRSE outlined a number of measures in its report that it believes are needed to improve the wellbeing of the UK's ever-growing self-employed population. These include either abolishing or improving the New Enterprise Allowance, which was intended to help the self-employed access funding, changing the perception of business failures so the fault is no longer seen as lying solely with the self-employed individual themselves, and improving access to skills development resources.

In addition, the CRSE wants to see more co-working spaces created throughout the country to stop self-employed people from feeling isolated, which can negatively impact their wellbeing and subsequently their productivity. Improving access to mentoring for those just starting out on their own was another action called for in the report.

Suneeta Johal, Director of the CRSE, commented: "When you improve the subjective wellbeing of the self-employed, it's not just them who benefit - it's businesses across the country, and our whole economy.

"Government and other policymakers must take heed of this report's recommendations and make sure self-employment stays a positive way of working for all."

However, some of these proposed policies may take a long time to implement, so what can personal service company contractors do in the meantime to safeguard their own wellbeing for their own good, and for the wider economy?

How contractors can look after their own wellbeing

Aiming for a better work-life balance is one way that contractors can strive to improve their own wellbeing. This can be a challenge when you are your boss and are solely responsible for the success of your limited company, but you cannot work constantly, as you'll make yourself exhausted and ill.

Try to stick to a set time that you're going to finish working each day as best as possible, and try not to do your work in the same space that you want to use to relax in the evenings. Setting up a dedicated home office will help you to have a clearer divide between work and play.

Also, making use of PayStream’s limited company service My PSC, can help you to get a better hold on the balance between your personal life and your professional life. Our limited company service provides you with advice and support with the administrative side of running a limited company, meaning you can spend less of your free time worrying about your admin, and more of it focusing on what matters to you personally.

Your wellbeing can also be impacted by the type of lifestyle you lead; practicing self-care regularly, eating healthily and making time to exercise are all good ways to look after yourself. When you're paying more attention to yourself in this way, you're naturally more likely to feel a little better about yourself, potentially improving your productivity at work.

Stop yourself from falling into feelings of isolation too by taking advantage of co-working spaces and other networking opportunities in your local area, and by arranging plans with other people for after you're done working for the day.

Combined, all of these steps should help you to feel better about yourself and your work, making you more productive.