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‘The Wright Stuff’ Discusses Growth in UK’s Gig Economy

PUBLISHED 06/02/2017

Channel Five’s morning news program presented by Matthew Wright discussed the growing number of Brits joining the ranks of self-employed workers in the UK on yesterday’s show.

In a telephone survey conducted over an ad break, viewers were asked what they considered the most appealing aspect of being freelance, selecting the ability to work flexible hours as the top choice.

The panellists of the day shared a freelance history in their respective careers and without exception said they preferred the years they earned less working for themselves than in salaried jobs with all that entails.

Being Self-Employed Restores the Work-Life Balance

From items in TV shows and articles in national media about the rising number of freelancers in Britain, it is very clear to see a large scale shift from the 9-5 grind to a way of working that’s more appropriate for the digital era.

There are now approaching 4 million Brits behind our gig economy and it’s not just a passing trend. This is a global rejection of old-fashioned boss-employee relationships where there’s an expectation for total commitment to something you have no ownership of.

Becoming a Freelancer is Easier in Europe than the UK

During the course of the phone calls and discussion on The Wright Stuff, it emerged that the biggest challenge to British freelancers is affordable housing. With rents at some of the highest levels of all times, Brits are finding it increasingly difficult to take the leap from regular, secure salary to the more mixed-fortunes self-employment brings.

In other European countries, freelancing is much more commonplace as the cost of living is significantly lower than in the UK. However, it is mostly the cost of housing – whether owning or renting – that presents the most significant challenge to flexible workers in the UK today.

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