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British workers opt out of 9-5 routineÖ - 12/2001

A vote of greater freedom, reduced stress and higher incomes

A rising number of people are opting out of full-time employment for a freelance career, according to an in-depth survey.

Among the reasons cited for the change in work attitudes are ëfeeling less stressedí (54%), a desire to ëspend more time with their familiesí (34%) and the opportunity to break away from the nine to five routine. In fact, a staggering 74% of respondents feel that freelancing offers them ëgreater personal flexibilityí with 68% ëenjoying their workí more.

36% of freelancers also believed they could earn more money than their counterparts in full-time jobs/employment by doing an average of only 36.8 hours a week. 62% of freelancers interviewed earn a gross income of between 25-50k and 36% have seen their income rise since going freelance.

A total of 191 men and women took part in the survey, which was conducted by business academics Ralph Tench (Leeds Business School) and Sandra Fielden (UMIST School of Business Psychology) and in association with freelance matchmaking service, Xchangeteam.

The survey highlighted the fact that almost half the people interviewed (45%) had left permanent employment in the past three years since 1998.

50% had been freelance for less than 12 months underlining the continued growth in the sector. And 55% planned to continue freelancing or set up their own businesses.

Report author Professor Ralph Tench said: ìThe survey clearly shows that freelancers are now a growing force in the workplace of the 21st century.î

ìThey are now regarded as an important group of people by businesses, who are using their skills to complement that of their own full-time staff. Indeed freelancing is no longer seen as a Cinderella profession but a career in its own right.î

ìA combination of greater freedom, reduced stress and higher incomes are just three of the many factors why more and more people are choosing to go freelance.î

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