The number of the UK’s self-employed has been increasing rapidly in the last decade, passing the 5-million mark for the first time ever at the end of 2019. This means that while more and more people are enjoying the wellbeing benefits of self-employment, such as freedom, flexibility and control, they are also facing more of the same challenges.
80% of freelancers felt that moving to self-employment had at least a somewhat positive impact on their mental health.
Since the coronavirus outbreak, only 39 per cent of freelancers rate their mental health as excellent or good compared to 68 per cent before the outbreak.
Nine out of ten freelancers (92%) say taking time off has at least some positive effect on them.
Nine in 10 self-employed people worry – at least occasionally – about their financial situation and half (51%) feel anxious or stressed as a result.
Read our latest report on Mental Health
For freelancers and the self-employed, coronavirus has been not only a health crisis, but also an income crisis. We can now see that this and the other circumstances of the lockdown have drastically undermined freelancers’ mental health. A quarter of them say they now have “poor” or “very poor” mental health – more than a 300 per cent increase since before the pandemic. To understand more about how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting the mental wellbeing of freelancers, read IPSE’s bespoke piece of research on the topic we conducted at the end of June 2020.Mental health report
- Make COVID self-employment support flexible and fair as we emerge from lockdown
- Provide and advertise mental health support tailored to freelancers
- Make sure the self-employed can take part in the training and skills revolution
- Promote co-working spaces and extend the business rate relief that exists for small businesses to workhubs
- Encourage clients to consider their freelancers’ mental health and adhere to best practice guidance
Read our Taking time off report
IPSE’s ‘Taking time off as a freelancer’ report explores how much time the UK’s freelancers are taking off work, how this impacts their wellbeing and productivity and what measures they can adopt to effectively prepare for a holiday. It also provides recommendations for government and clients on how they can better support freelancers to take time off.Read the report
Read our Remote Working report
This piece of research examines the experiences of self-employed people who work remotely and emphasises some of the benefits and challenges of working this way. As well as providing flexibility, freedom and a better work-life balance, remote working can also lead to communication issues with clients and feelings of loneliness and disconnect. This report explores these challenges in more depth and sets out recommendations to alleviate some of the negative aspects of remote working.Remote working
Mental health information and support
If you are currently experiencing mental health problems there are a range of resources you can access on the Mind website. You can also find out about how to get help for your mental health and access support on the Mental Health Foundation website.
If you need to speak to someone, there are also a range of helplines available to support you.
If you are an IPSE member, you can also:
- Access our Wellbeing services through Perkbox via IPSE Rewards
- Meet and talk with other members at events and IPSE Facebook or LinkedIn groups
- Take advantage of the 24/7 health information and support through our partnership with AXA PPP Healthcare
- Secure better peace of mind by accessing our tax and legal helplines
- Access guides, tips, tools and templates through IPSE’s Resource library