Contractors and other self-employed people are happier than employees

According to the findings of a new survey, 48% of permanent employees are often not happy at work, and almost 20% are ‘rarely or never’ happy at work. Meanwhile, a huge 76% of self-employed people stated that they were enthusiastic about the work they do – making it clear that contractors, freelancer and other self-employed people are happier with their career choices than employees.

The Happy HaPI Survey

This survey was conducted by Personal Group, which provides employee services within the UK, and is what’s known – rather appropriately – as a ‘HaPI’ survey, which stands for Health and Psychosocial Instruments. Almost 800 UK workers were interviewed, and the findings were then benchmarked against a database of more than 40,000 other survey results – gathered from organisations which treat ‘employee engagement’ as a top priority.

The aim was to discover how happy, or unhappy, people are in the workplace, and to find out what might make them happier – although clearly becoming self-employed is one answer. Beyond this, it also looked at productivity levels and aimed to determine how happiness levels relate to productivity – in light of additional research by the University of Warwick, which found that happy workers are around 12% more productive.

Age makes a huge difference

Younger employees were least enthusiastic about coming to work, vs older employees in more senior roles. The same variation was also identified in relation to overall happiness in the workplace. Something which may explain the increasing number of younger people who are choosing to set up as limited company contractors, as identified by our Contractor Attitude Surveys.

Commenting on the findings of the report, Personal Group Chief Executive Mark Scanlon said, “There is growing evidence of the connection that happy and engaged employees are more productive. This could explain why those who are self-employed seem to be happiest and why the UK entrepreneurial and start-up scene is so successful – these people unsurprisingly tend to feel more invested in the business outcome.”

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SJD Accountancy

SJD Accountancy are the UK's largest specialist provider of fixed fee, Limited company accountancy services to contractors; we've been acting for contractors across the UK since 1992 and have more than 15,000 clients.

We are the only national specialist firm of contractor accountants with offices nationwide. SJD Accountancy has more qualified staff than any other firm in our market with qualifications from the following major tax and accountancy bodies - ATT, AAT, CTA, ACCA, CA, ACA and FCCA.

  • Unlimited face to face meetings. This is a unique service only SJD Accountancy offers - unlimited face to face meetings across the UK - tax is complicated and sometimes only a meeting will do.
  • UK's largest contractor accountants with more qualified staff. No call centres, no outsourcing, no automated call handling. Simply telephone, email or meet your own dedicated accountant face to face.
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*If you would like us to complete your company year end accounts we simply ask that you have been a client of SJD for one year or have made 12 monthly payments. All accountants are part or fully qualified.