The pros and cons of being self-employed

VV 21 July 2

When it comes to the job pay-to-satisfaction equation, it seems that self-employed workers are poorer but happier.

The average full-time freelance earns nearly £4,000 a year less (20%) than their staff counterparts, according to a major new poll published today (Wednesday May 28).

However, more than eight out of 10 freelancers (84%) enjoy greater contentment with the flexibility and freedom that being self-employed gives them, according to the survey from RSA and Etsy.

Which may explain why so many people are going it alone. The Salvation in a Start-Up report shows that the number of self-employed employees has jumped by more than 180,000 during the opening three months of this year.

As many as 15% of workers are today self-employed – the highest percentage that anyone can remember. Their numbers are predicted to grow to five million by 2018, overtaking those working in the state sector.

New technologies have made it easier for people to start-up from home.

So why are more and more workers being lured by the attractions of working for themselves?

The pros of being self-employed:

– the freedom of flexible hours

– doing something you love; people tend to set up businesses in areas that interest them and play to their strengths

– tax advantages: with a good accountant, even the most tenuous work resource can be tax-deductible

– not having to worry about your appearance: if you’re under the weather you can slump around in pyjamas all day

– you can adjust the air-con to your preferred perfect setting

– having a holiday when you like

– not being caught up in office politics

– not having to make huge rounds of hot drinks for the rest of the office

The cons of being self-employed:

– not having a set routine

– having to organise all your expenses receipts in a presentable fashion

– not having the full paid holiday perks of staffers

– less feedback from those who pay you

– job insecurity: shifts or projects can be cancelled with no notice

– if you work from home, you can run the risk of children in the school holidays turning your usually peaceful home office into a war zone

– you miss out on the office camaraderie, gossip and jaunts

– having to make your own coffee all day

Which freelance “tribe” are you in? (from the RSA/Etsy report)

Survivors (24%)

Somewhat unwilling, but diligent, often younger workers who struggle in competitive markets

Visionaries (22%)

Confident business owners bent on expansion fuelled by a calling

Independents (19%)

Free-spirited computer-tied company owners to whom working for themselves gives free rein to their creativity

Locals (13%)

Generally stress-free, older workers in low-tech companies whose incomings are modest

Classicals (11%)

Entrepreneurial-spirited older people motivated by money

Dabblers (11%)

Normally part-timers who see their firm as less an essential than a hobby in their spare hours.


Posted by the Secret Businessman