Self-employed people work less and make more than salaried workers

 
Rebecca Smith
Be your own boss? Don't mind if I do
Be your own boss? Don't mind if I do (Source: Getty)

Despite the fact many entrepreneurs say they work double-digit hours most days, a new study suggests the self-employed have a better time of it than most.

According to an Intuit study of 5,010 UK self-employed workers they generate mean annual revenues of £32,623 – £5,000 above the average UK salary according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), despite working 10 hours fewer per week.

On average the sample worked 28 hours per week, while the ONS says the UK average of weekly full-time working hours is 37.6 hours.

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And of those taking part in the study who used to be a salaried worker, two-thirds said they were either financially the same or better off, while 65 per cent said they felt better off in terms of "life satisfaction".

The over-65s had reasons to feel particularly cheerful – they had mean annual revenues of £40,000 and work 21 hours a week.

The main reasons for the attraction of self-employment? Well, 77 per cent pointed to the control over their schedule; similarly, 68 per cent cited more flexibility to work to their own terms. Being their own boss was also a popular pick.

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The drain of workplace politics can get many people down and indeed, those satisfied self-employed workers said not having to worry about that was another plus.

But, of course self-employment isn't all smiles. The main challenge for those working on their own terms was not having enough predictable income, as well as the uncertainty of the future.

As for what sparked the move to self-employment, a quarter said it was after losing a job, while seven per cent said it was in reaction to having hours or pay take a hit at work.

The number of self-employed grew to 4.77m in January this year.

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