The way we work seems to be changing
Contemporary trends show that there are more people than ever starting up small businesses or becoming self-employed and moving away from being employed by larger firms. The numbers of self-employed people has increased significantly since we moved into the 21st century, in fact the growth of self-employed people is becoming greater than the total number of people employed by the four large supermarkets combined. So why is this happening, given that self-employed people may be missing out on the national living wage, and are more likely to be less well paid than if they worked for a large organisation. Is it the good old British entrepreneurial spirit?
One key change which we have talked about for many years is that job security is a thing of the past. Gone are the days of “a job for life”. As well as feeling insecure, employees feel that work is more intense and more stressful, that they are working harder now than they did before and technological advancement seems to be driving this. So, moving into large organisations where you are just a number and not a friend, where you don’t have the same customer contact that you had before, coupled with stagnation in wages, where you are expected to work harder and accept the stress that comes with that, is encouraging people to move away from employment and start up on their own, where their work has meaning and they can see the contribution it makes.
There is an increasing desire to have the freedom to make your own decisions and to choose when and where you work, enabling you to better balance your work and family life. The ability to make the decisions about who you will work with, building your team around your personality and your business goals and yes, whilst starting your own business is never without risk, you get to see the financial results of your hard work. Most self-employed people are passionate about what they do and enjoy the variation in work that larger companies often find so difficult to provide.
Undeniably, the working landscape has changed dramatically in the last few decades. As the percentage of self-employment in the UK continues to grow, could this be the beginning of national entrepreneurial success?