The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed, AKA IPSE, recently looked more closely at independent workers…
What they found is that in the EU and USA there are roughly 162 million people of working age that take part in some form of independent work. That is approximately 20% to 30% of people who are working right now.
However, not all of these 162 million are full time professionals who work for themselves, oh no, the vast majority just like to dabble in the art of self employment.
The IPSE went on to estimate that about 49 million in the EU and USA are what you would consider those who work for themselves and make the majority of their income from that.
They went on to discover that out of these 49 million workers many of them have reported how job satisfaction and feeling of freedom is what motivates them to do what they do.
It’s not all plain sailing though, oh no, because there was a big but that was often found among these self employed workers, many of whom are freelancers and contractors remember.
What is this big but exactly? It’s the fact that many people who work for themselves find they have difficulty switching off and keeping their mind away from the office.
Compare this to your average traditional employee who very often leaves the troubles of the day behind at their place of employment, and you can easily see how it can be a problem.
Take this time of year as an example, the Christmas time, where most employees take a holiday away from work to relax and enjoy themselves. Unfortunately, many self employed in the EU and USA don’t do this at all, and according to the IPSE there are millions who work on Christmas Day.
That’s right, when so many people are tucking into their turkeys and pulling crackers there are millions out there who are still working away on their laptops and holding important conference calls with associates.
Sure, they might sit with the family for an hour or so to open presents and listen to the Queens speech, but…and this is a big but, are they really focused on having a good time and relaxing? My guess would be no.
The research by the IPSE went on to suggest that self employed people who are managers, directors and senior officials often have the most trouble switching off and enjoying Christmas, where they estimate around 800,000 in the UK have these kind of roles, which accounts for roughly 17 percent of all of our nations self employed.
I would also say that at the other end of the spectrum there are other self employed workers who also have a difficult time switching off and enjoying the Christmas festivities. For example, gig workers such as Uber drivers and online freelancers who might feel they have to take all of the work they can get.
If a client contacts them on Christmas Day are they going to turn it down? They could do, however, if they do turn it down then they could potentially lose out on a lot of work in the New Year.
The message here is simple. Yes there are a lot of independent workers out there, 162 million in the EU and USA, but…and this a big but once again, many pay the price for setting their own hours and being their own boss with the fact they have to be always available.