National Freelancers Day

National Freelancers Day: A significant number of employees are considering going freelance, new research finds

  • Over a quarter of employees are considering a side-hustle to help manage the cost-of-living crisis

16th June 2022, London: Following the emergence of the Great Resignation, new research from IPSE (the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed) has found that two in five Brits (39%) have considered becoming a freelancer.

Interestingly, those currently employed in media, marketing, advertising, PR and sales (57%) and construction (47%) are the most likely to have considered making the move across to self-employment. Moreover, the research found that men are more likely than women to envisage themselves becoming self-employed in the future (30% compared to 25% respectively).

When breaking down the reasons why Brits are interested in becoming a freelancer, the research found that the main factor was flexibility (49%), followed by being their boss (48%) and an improved work-life balance (48%). What’s more, the research found that over three in 10 (33%) employees believe that they could make more money as self-employed workers.

The new research, carried out by YouGov saw 1000 Brits asked about their attitudes towards freelancing, ahead of National Freelancers Day on June 16th. It found that the overwhelming majority of full-time workers (72%) believe that the contribution that the self-employed make to the UK economy and society is either fairly or very positive. This is supported by previous IPSE research, which found that the solo self-employed workforce contributes an estimated £303 billion to the UK economy per year.

Derek Cribb, CEO at IPSE (the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed), said: “After 11 years of continuous growth, the number of self-employed workers has fallen dramatically, decreasing by 800,000 individuals since 2019. While many commentators worried that numbers of self-employed workers might continue to fall post-pandemic, today’s research clearly shows that freelancing is back! Brits are still keen to pursue freelancing, with a significant number thinking about swapping their full-time job for the dynamism, freedom and creativity of self-employment.”


The research also looked into the rise in side-hustles – those in full-time work creating additional sources of income through a secondary role, business or gig. It found that almost half of full-time workers (46%) are interested in adopting a side-hustle. Interestingly, women are slightly more likely than their male employee counterparts to be currently adopting a side-hustle (14% compared to 11% respectively).

With worries around inflation increasing in recent months, the research found that of those with a side hustle, over three in 10 (35%) started their side-hustle to help them cope with the current cost of living crisis. It also found that of those that haven’t yet started a side hustle, over half (55%) would consider starting a side-hustle to help them manage the crisis.

Perceived barriers to self-employment

For those uninterested in becoming a freelancer, the research found that their main reason for not making the switch is wanting a fixed regular income (55%), followed by job security (49%). Further barriers for employees included not knowing where to start (36%), not having enough financial capital to set up a business (35%) and lacking confidence in their ability to work for themselves (29%).