Despite Flexible Hours, freelancers and entrepreneurs are Most Likely to Struggle with Work-Life Balance
Recent trends have shown the increasing importance of work-life balance, pointing to an evolving workplace that prioritizes flexible work environments and stimulating work experiences. However, recent studies show the balance of work-life shifts as people transition from different career paths, such as from employee to entrepreneur and even freelancer.
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In a recent survey, eachnight asked over 1,000 people about how their careers affect their personal work-life balance, including different aspects of their life, such as sleep, finances, work hours and family interaction.
As the gig economy, filled with freelancers and entrepreneurs, is projected to grow to half of all jobs in the US economy by the end of 2020, the balance is surely to evolve in the years ahead – here a few takeaways from the study.
According to the survey, although most freelancers (66 percent) reported being satisfied with their life, their average fell well below that of employees (75.5 percent) and entrepreneurs (77.1 percent). Additionally, while entrepreneurs reported having the highest levels of satisfaction with their careers, employees were most likely to feel satisfied with their finances, sleep and health.
Freelancers and entrepreneurs and life satisfaction
Regarding leaving work behind at the office, employees were most likely to avoid work during vacation, around family and checking and/or sending emails after work hours. On the other hand, less than 42 percent of freelancers avoided work during vacation and an overwhelming 87 percent said they talk about work outside of work hours.
The number of hours we work is perhaps one of the most popular factors in work-life balance. In that category, a majority of freelancers (59.6 percent) and 40 percent of entrepreneurs reported working less than 40 hours a week, while another 36.5 percent of entrepreneurs say they work more than 40 hours. About 45 percent of employees say they clock in just about 40 hours a week.
Work survey says
When it comes down to finances, there’s a clear gap between the different career paths. Freelancers earned a median annual income of $22,000 compared to employees who make a median income of $40,000 and $35,000 for entrepreneurs. Moreover, 55 percent of employees and 48 percent of entrepreneurs said they received a raise in the past year compared to only 39 percent of freelancers.
While money, sleep and work hours are all important, they all impact the bottom line - how our jobs make us feel. Employees were most likely to feel tired and stressed but also more engaged, focused and organized. Freelancers, however, were least likely to feel irritated but also felt less engaged, focused and less successful compared to entrepreneurs and employees.
Though a reemergence in the gig economy has given freelancers the flexibility that a regular 9 to 5 might not offer, the market still provides several benefits to employees that freelancers and entrepreneurs miss out on. However, with the gig economy rapidly expanding across the country, businesses may need to reconsider how to attract and satisfy top talent outside their organizations.