Self-employed battle loneliness in a bid for self-fulfilment

16th June 2014

The number of self-employed people in the UK has reached record levels to more than 4.5 million, but a study released by a London-based co-working space found that many freelancers battle loneliness in search of an improved work-life balance.
Huckletree interviewed 4,000 self-employed professionals and entrepreneurs about their experiences of working from home, with 43 per cent saying that working from home improves their relationship with their partner or spouse.
Meanwhile, the majority of respondents (55 per cent) cited an improved work-life balance as the main benefit of working for themselves, followed by the avoidance of office politics which 35 per cent of people identified as a benefit.
It’s not all plain sailing however, with more than a third (38 per cent) of respondents admitting that working from home had left them lonely, with almost half (48 per cent) of people wishing they had other people nearby to bounce ideas off.
Home-based distractions (22 per cent) also appear to play a part too, while five per cent regret the fact that even though they dress up and make an effort with their appearance, there is nobody there to see them.
Gabriela Hersham, owner of Huckletree, says that despite the potential for loneliness, working from home can enhance a person’s sense of wellbeing and work-life balance.

“The research still showed that even those who did find their lives had improved because of the autonomy of being a free agent still had a big colleague-shaped hole in their lives,” she said.

“When you’re working on your own all day, it’s very easy to feel lonely. Perhaps the solution is to find a way of extricating the best bits of being employed, like having colleagues to bounce ideas off, from the worst bits, such as office politics and not having control over how you work.”
Two-fifths (42 per cent) of respondents said they would consider looking for entrepreneurial communities to connect with, while nearly a third (31 per cent) of people said they’d be happy to work in a community with like-minded creative people.

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