Insurance · 14 November 2017

Self-employment found to be less stressful than other types of work

Work life balance choices
Self-employment may help people take back control of their work-life balance
People that work for themselves are some of the least stressed in the UK, busting the myth that self-employment leads to an unhealthy work-life balance.

A survey from Axa Business Insurance has found that self-employed people are less stressed, have a better work-life balance and better mental health than other workers.

Some 78 per cent of self-employed people said they were stressed to some degree. While this figure may seem high, the proportion of UK employees (those that work for someone else) claiming they were stressed, was 90 per cent.

The research did reveal some key pain points? of stress for self-employed people, however. Having to be on-hand for 24-hours a day, and fluctuating month-by-month income, were found to be the hardest aspects of self-employment.

Self-employed people are less likely to develop a chronic problem with stress when they get it, the study also showed. Whilst 11 per cent of workers said they were stressed all the time, that falls to two per cent of the self-employed.

Meanwhile, when asked about their general mental health, 30 per cent of full-time staff said they had concerns, compared to just 11 per cent of self-employed.

Managing stress and lone working: Advice from a business coach

Busting another myth, the study revealed that becoming self-employed doesnt involve having to scratch out a living until you one day become filthy rich, but that it can provide a steady income.

A full-time self-employed person earns 33, 000 on average (£6, 000 more than the average employee). However, the two extremes of self-employed pay do exits.

Some ten per cent of self-employed people earn less than 11, 000 a year, whilst 22 per cent earn above the higher tax rate of 45, 000, and four per cent earn 100, 000 a year or more.



Fred Heritage was previously deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and international relations from the University of Kent and an MA in international conflict from Kings College London.