Freelancers, personal service company contractors and other self-employed individuals are significantly happier in their work than their peers in more traditional forms of employment, according to the results of a new survey.
Almost three-quarters (70 per cent) of self-employed people reported that they were happy in their job compared to fewer than half (48 per cent) of those who work for someone else in a poll carried out by Personal Group.
In total, 82 per cent of contractors and freelancers said they were proud of their career, with almost two-thirds (63 per cent) actively looking forward to going to work every day. Just ten per cent of self-employed individuals say they are not excited to start working every day, which was the lowest proportion of any group of workers surveyed.
What's more, almost all (94 per cent) of self-employed workers believe that their job is making a worthwhile contribution to the world, providing them with a sense of purpose.
However, in contrast, just 76 per cent of regular full-time workers feel that their career is worthwhile and nearly one-third (30 per cent) admit to never feeling enthusiastic about going to work.
When asked by Personal Group what would make them feel more motivated and happier in their job roles, 35 per cent of traditional employees said they wanted more support and encouragement.
As a result, this may suggest why contractors and freelancers tend to be happier and feel more content with their work, as there are plenty of online forums and face-to-face meet-ups that they can attend to get support from their peers while running their own limited company.
In addition, personal service company contractors can access help and advice from limited company support providers such as PayStream. Our My PSC service can provide assistance with some of the administrative work associated with running a limited company, enabling contractors to ensure their business is being run in the most tax-efficient way possible.
Self-employment is becoming increasingly popular, with new networks and advice sources being set up all of the time, but new forms of support for traditional nine-to-five office-based workers are not following at the same pace. Therefore, this may be one of the reasons for the disparity between the professional happiness levels of the self-employed and the more traditionally employed.
Mark Scanlon, Chief Executive at Personal Group, commented: "Our survey supports the findings of the Business of Engagement report and shows that only half of employees feel they are working as efficiently as possible. Can this lack of engagement with the people at the coalface explain the widening UK productivity gap?
"There is growing evidence of the connection that happy and engaged employees are more productive. This could explain why those who are self-employed seem to be happiest and why the UK entrepreneurial and start-up scene is so stressful - these people unsurprisingly tend to feel more invested in the business outcome."
The results of the survey suggest that the increased flexibility and control over workload that self-employment brings may be a key driver behind the greater happiness levels of contractors and freelancers. These individuals also have the opportunity to set their own pay rates, which may be another influencing factor.