Insights from self-employment, freelancing and mental health.

We run regular projects to try and understand our community's needs, from small weekly questions in our slack, right up to our annual survey into the relationship between self-employment and mental health.

2020 Study on Self-Employment and Mental Health

Currently open for participation

Take part.

2019 Study on Self-Employment and Mental Health

Our first large scale research project asked over 500 participants about their relationship between work and wellbeing

View project

What have we discovered?

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 2019 report.

Looking for custom insights into self-employment?

Work with us to access insights from our community, or let us help you work with your community to understand their needs and experiences. Contact our partnerships team for more.

Leapers is a project from thinkplaymake.
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