October 31, 2019
Around two thirds (64 percent) of freelancers say they regularly feel lonely due to their work, with a further 59 percent saying they suffer from work-related anxiety, according the new research from office stationery and furniture suppliers, Viking. The survey also suggests that 60 percent say their quality of sleep is negatively affected by work, whilst over half (54 percent) read work emails on holiday.
The study, which surveyed 1,500 freelancers and office-based workers, sought to discover the effect of working freelance on mental health whilst also comparing the positives and negatives of working freelance to being an office-based worker.
The effects of spending long days working alone means that 56 percent of freelancers said they suffer from depression as a result of their job, with a further 62 percent saying they feel stressed due to work. This is compared to office-based workers, where less than one-in-three (30 percent) said they suffer with depression and just 55 percent feel stressed.
No off switch
The survey also claims that freelancers find it harder to switch off from work when on holiday. Three-in-ten (30 percent) freelancers take their work laptop on holiday, with over half (54 percent) reading work emails and 48 percent replying to them. In comparison, fewer than half (13 percent) of the number of office-based workers take a laptop away, 36 percent read emails and 30 percent reply.
Just 15 percent of freelancers said they avoid work altogether when on holiday, meaning that 85 percent never take a complete escape from their day-to-day routine. When it comes to office-based workers, 42 percent said they avoid work altogether. Despite this figure being lower, it still shows that 58 percent of the population aren’t taking a much-needed break to recharge batteries.
Loneliness was a common theme in the responses from freelancers. As well as 64 percent saying they feel lonely on a daily basis, when asked to rank the worst aspects of being a freelancer, feeling lonely at work was chosen by 53 percent of respondents. The lack of support for mental health issues came fifth in this list, showing that freelancers feel unsupported when it comes to this issue.