2014 Freelance Rates results: how our work affects us

For our last post covering the Freelance Rates survey I wanted to look at some broader metrics about the respondents and also how (if at all) working freelance affects those who choose to take this path.

Obviously this lacks a significant amount of meaning without comparisons to similar metrics from employees and other employment statuses within our sector but hopefully it will give some useful insight.

The first thing to note with the general make-up of respondents is the prevalence of white males. 94% of repsondents classified themselves as White. 2.4% of respondents classified themselves of Asian origin whilst a further 1.5% considered themselves to be of mixed ethnicity and 1.3% of Black or African/Caribbean descent.

Compared to national data from England and Wales in 2011 (White 86%, Asian 7.5%, Black/African/Caribbean 3.3%, Mixed 2.2%) this shows a strong disparity in representation within our sector.

Furthermore, compared to the national average of 50.1%, only 11.1% of survey respondents were female. There is clearly still a lot of work to do in terms of making our profession more accessible and inclusive.

If we look at education the clear majority of respondents were educated to degree level, although only 75% of those were in a subject related to their work.

Following the Geek Mental Help Week last year, I was interested to what extend working freelance affects work-life balance and quality of life. For many, working freelance is a lifestyle choice so it would be useful to know whether this aspiration was met by reality.

Fortunately for most respondents, working freelance would seem to provide a good or very good quality of life and work-life balance. Furthermore, the number of freelancers who felt that their quality of life, mental or physical health was very bad was relatively small.

Almost 10% of respondents rated their health and work-life balance as bad. Statistically this is small and overall shows that most freelancers are happy in their work. Most freelancers then seem to try to take care of themselves, supported by 42.7% of respondents exercising at least twice a week.