Studies show that being self-employed has an impact on family life due to the increase in pressure and stress it brings. According to the Centre for the Modern Family’s report ‘Self-employment and the Family’, a fifth of those related to self-employed workers admitted to their household experiencing higher levels of stress, thanks to their career choice.
As the self-employed now make up 15% of the UK’s total workforce, the number having increased by 133,000 over the last year, there is a worry that this may be taking its toll on family life. This is even more concerning when you consider that many move to self-employment with the intention of achieving a better work-life balance.
More than half of self-employed people surveyed (53%) said they had moved away from traditional employment with the hope of making their working life more flexible and under their control. Of this number, 53% cited a desire to choose their own working hours, whilst 17% had a need for flexibility over when they worked due to childcare responsibilities. This reason was far more prevalent in self-employed mothers, with 46% giving this reason, compared to just 7% of self-employed fathers
Almost one in five (19%) of people related to a self-employed worker say their relative has greater financial worries since moving to self-employment. Slightly more (20%) said they are generally more stressed due to work, 11% said this stress extends to their whole family, and 18% said their self-employed relative is never off duty when it comes to work.
Despite this, the study also reveals that many of those who have made the choice to become their own boss are able to reap the benefits. More than one in three (35%) reported that they were able to spend more time with their family than when they were in traditional employment. This proportion rises to almost half (49%) amongst self-employed mothers.
Whilst the potential stresses of self-employment should be taken into account, it’s important to remember the many benefits you can unlock by doing so, which are often the driving force behind making the decision to move away from traditional employment. Reaping the benefits of your own hard work is a major draw for many and there is also the potential to earn more over time than in a traditional job. The improvement in job satisfaction and quality of life can also prove invaluable: not only can you potentially eliminate your daily commute and wave goodbye to office politics, being self-employed also gives you the opportunity to focus on the parts of your profession you enjoy most.