The study, commissioned by Crunch Accounting, asked male and female freelancers across the country what impact leaving 9 to 5 work life had on their stress levels and happiness.
More than half (51 per cent) of female freelancers report feeling significantly or moderately less stressed since leaving the traditional world of work – 10 per cent more than their male counterparts.
Crunch’s new client figures also show that the number of women starting their own business has grown 42 per cent since 2010, and almost a third of all the new businesses they help start are now founded by women. With more reasons than ever to leave full-time jobs, that figure will only increase, says the organisation.
Helena Mann, operations manager for Crunch Accounting says, ‘We weren’t at all surprised to discover more women are turning to, and feeling happier in, a freelancing lifestyle. With the chance to determine when and where they want to work, freelancing is allowing women a level of flexibility and autonomy that’s simply unheard of in the traditional 9 to 5 workplace.’
She adds that, for anyone trying to balance family and a career, freelancing is a chance to finally level the playing field.
‘We can only hope more big businesses start to adopt these forward thinking strategies, like workplace crèches and flexible start times, to make this a possibility for all employees.’
Both male and female freelancers name unpredictable work flow as the biggest cause of stress in their professional lives, closely followed by the challenge of chasing late payments. Women however are twice as likely to struggle with the isolation that comes with solo working.
Female freelancers are also turning to healthier techniques to help manage their stress levels. Women are more likely to try cooking, socialising, exercise and meditation in difficult times. In contrast, men are 10 per cent more likely to turn to alcohol to alleviate stress (40 per cent of men versus 30 per cent of women).