Freelancers mental health forgotten by employers
There’s no denying that freelancing has many positives, allowing freelancers to be their own boss, work flexible hours, and pick and chose projects that suit them. Data from Leaper last year revealed that 48% of freelancers felt that it had a positive impact on their mental health.
However, 46% of people feel that freelancing harms their mental health. This stat is understandable – many freelancers are lacking the support systems that full-time employment offers, such as training and progression opportunities and line management. Only 4% of freelancers felt that their employing clients have their mental wellbeing in mind.
The pandemic is also likely to have impacted freelancer mental health, as isolation, job security and lack of government support schemes add to the stress of everyday life.
With freelancing becoming increasingly common, and potentially set to boom post-pandemic, Justin Small, CEO of Future Strategy Club comments on what freelancers and employers can do to support freelancer wellbeing.
“Freelancers are often neglected in wider business plans, excluded from company culture and wellbeing programmes, and not offered the training and line management that permanent employees are. Firms who are hiring outside talent should ensure that freelancers are offered the same support and benefits that permanent employees are.
Freelancers who are struggling can turn to co-agencies, such as Future Strategy Club, who aim to give freelancers the support and L&D schemes they are lacking. This network can help freelancers identify goals and build a 6 month personal development plan that considers working life holistically, not just in the workplace – all for the monthly cost of a gym.
Freelance talent is highly beneficial to firms, allowing businesses to bring in outside talent on-demand to grow and innovate. The private sector will need flexible workers to ride out the turbulence of post-Brexit regulations and further months of Covid confusion, and businesses should ensure that freelancer wellbeing is at the top of their agenda.”