In both Canada and the US, the freelance economy seems to be expanding, both in terms of the number of people choosing to freelance and the sectors in which freelancers are finding work. So in our 2016 Workplace Index Study, which surveyed 1,110 employees in Canada and measures workplace trends and work culture, we took a look into freelance employment to get a better understanding of why people choose to freelance, and if it makes them happier than those who are employed full time.
The survey revealed that people generally freelance so that they can control their own hours and improve their work/life balance. And while they do get to enjoy these benefits, only 29% of freelancers surveyed said they would not consider trading their freelance employment for a full time role. That means, over 70% of freelancers might consider moving to a full time position should the opportunity become available. The number one reason they might consider moving to a full time role? Consistent income.
While having an inconsistent income might not be a major perk of freelancing, freelancers revealed that there are many other positive benefits in their employment situation. Among the many benefits listed, the top six include making their own hours, better work/life balance, the ability to make more money, a better ability to navigate a difficult job market with fewer full-time opportunities available, the ability to be their own boss, and the opportunity to choose the projects they want to work on.
Another perk? The ability to have a voice at work and influence change. When we asked survey respondents how employers could improve the overall happiness of employees in the workplace, feeling heard was one of the top four answers. When it comes to making a difference at work, freelancers feel they have more control and a better ability to make changes happen. 72% said they feel like they have a voice and power to influence change in their work environment, compared to only 57% of full time employees.
But along with inconsistent income, longer hours also have a greater presence among freelancers. 33% of full time freelancers report working more than 40 hours a week on a regular basis, compared to only 21% of people who have full time employment.
Share your thoughts and comments below – does one employment situation have more benefits than the other?
Looking for more results and insights from the Workplace Index Survey? Download the full report here.