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Why Brits love being self-employed

2-minute read

Why Brits love being self-employed
Anna Delves

Anna Delves

24 March 2017

It’s no secret that Brits love being self-employed - nearly a million people have set up as sole traders, freelancers or business owners in the last 10 years. But what is it that drives people to work for themselves?

A new survey has looked into why self-employment is so appealing, with 1,000 respondents aged 18 - 44 telling researchers what they love most about it.

Calling the shots

Over three quarters of those surveyed said that being their own boss is the best thing about being self-employed.

But that’s not the only perk of being in charge of your own work. 64 per cent said that one of the best parts is flexible hours. With no boss breathing down your neck, you’re free to decide when you work, as well as what jobs you take.

Flexible working was most popular with the younger self-employed, with 85 per cent of 18 - 24-year-olds favouring it over other aspects of being your own boss.

Taking responsibility

But with great freedom comes great responsibility, and for just under half of respondents, that was a real draw of self-employment. 40 per cent said having the last word was important to them - much easier when you’re the one in charge and there’s no company red tape to cut through.

Interestingly, there’s something of a gender divide when it comes to enjoying positions of authority. Being the main decision-maker was a key feature of self-employment for 50 per cent of men, but only 27 per cent of women felt the same.

Salary is by the by

Somewhat surprisingly, salary got less than a fifth of the overall vote, with only 16 per cent saying that extra money was their favourite part of working for themselves.

And while you might think that City workers would be more fussed by the cash in their bank account, salary was only two per cent more popular in the capital than the rest of the country.

Business trips are also not so popular with the self-employed, with only nine per cent saying it was one of their preferred perks. Attending a trade fair or visiting a distant client can be a lot less appealing when travel costs come out of your own pocket!

What’s your favourite part of being self-employed? Let us know in the comments.

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