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how are we doing?

We asked over 500 freelancers about their work and its impact on their mental health.

This is what you said.

See the full report.

or ... just keep scrolling for some headlines

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What were the key findings of our research?


We asked 500+ freelancers about the relationship between their work and their mental health.

We've pulled out some of the most interesting findings below, or you can download a pretty PDF version here.

Interested in using this data? Contact us for more details

46% people think freelancing has negative impact on their mental health.

About (48%) half think freelancing has overall improved their mental health. About half (46%) think it has overall impacted their mental health negatively. This is a departure from the myth of freelancing being the antidote to a bad job.

43% didn't think about their mental health before freelancing, 56% of freelancers think more actively about their mental health since freelancing, and

We want to improve the number of people who are considering the impact on their mental health before they leap, and increase the number of people who are not thinking about their mental health whilst freelancing.

Only 4% of our freelancers feel their employing organisations truly have their mental wellbeing in mind.

61.7% say clients don't think about it at all, and 34% think they're only somewhat considering it. Whilst employers are doing great work in looking after the wellbeing of their employees, it's felt they're not considering everyone they work with.

61% are working five days a week or more

The four-hour-working-week, or even the four-day-working-week, just isn't a reality for most of our community - many are working longer hours, and 68% are stressed by long working hours and tight deadlines.

60% of freelancers say working alone isn't a problem for them

This dispels the myth that for many freelancing is lonely, but that still means 40% do feel stressed by isolation - and we're working to improve that.

47% are stressed by the lack of control they have over their working schedule

Yet, 51% say more control was the primary reason for moving to freelancing - there's another myth to be busted here.

76% don't feel talented enough, and 45% find it stressful finding time for training and development.

High or unreasonable expectations from clients cause stress to 69% of our community too

Stressors outside of an freelancers control rank highest, including lack of communication from the client, lack of clarity, or lack of support or feedback.

80% say lack of clarity on a project causes stress; 71% say clients ghosting them is a cause of stress; and over 62% say that no support or feedback on a job causes stress

See the full report.

This is why Leapers exists

To make modern work more supportive for modern workers.

We focus on mental health of freelancers: offering a community of support + tangible things to help you work well; plus insight and advice for those who want to work better with freelancers.

We'll be using these insights to help guide what we do as a community - the areas we focus on, the resources and tools we develop, and critically, to raise awareness of the importance of considering your own mental health when freelancing.

Additionally - we will be working with organisations who work with freelancers, to point at the behaviours which might create stress and anxiety for our community, so that we can collectively improve how we work together well.

See the full report.

Download a PDF version of the summary.
Download a PNG version of the summary.

Here's a handy downloadable version!


I'm a freelancer
How can I get help?

Join our community of support, and access resources, tools, conversation and connection with over 1200 freelancers globally.

Join Us.

I hire freelancers
How can I offer help?

We work with organisations to offer advice, insight and support to build better freelance experiences. Let's work together to create a more effective way of working with freelancers.

Work with us.

Interested in using or referencing this data?
Want to know more about the study?

Survey Sample Size: n553. When re-publishing this data or commentary - quote the original source as "Leapers: Research Study 2019".

For any press enquiries, additional requests or further data, please contact [email protected].
Copyright 2019 Foxlark Strategy Limited.

Leapers is a project from thinkplaymake.
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