The Coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns, job losses have adversely influenced numerous self-employed individuals' mental well-being.
As per a study done by IPSE, the number of contractors encountering mental wellness issues has risen by more than 200%; a spike from six per cent to 20 per cent. The same report stated that poor mental well-being among freelancers and contractors contrarily affects their work. For instance, 61% of those studied said that they had battled to stay focused while working, 60% said they encountered decreased efficiency and 14% said they'd even needed to defer or drop projects.
Is financial stability a major factor?
Many hidden expenses caused by the pandemic have left many self-employed individuals bare pockets. Mental health and financial well being are directly proportional.
Individuals facing monetary pressure during the pandemic will undoubtedly have more significant levels of mental issues. Monetary pressure can bring continuous stress, tension and vulnerability in individuals' lives.
Moreover, the monetary pressure of the pandemic was not shared equally by all working class. Self-employed individuals who were already under financial pressure and handling health-related issues were bound to face an endless loop of monetary difficulty and deteriorated mental health.
Did it affect their productivity?
In the same research, 77 per cent said they faced lower energy during work and 71 per cent said they experienced insomnia. This implies somewhere around one out of seven freelancers are encountering anxiety, stress and even depression as well as a rise in negative thoughts.
The issue is influencing their work productivity as well, with 61% saying they battle to stay concentrated and 14 per cent have postponed or dropped projects as a result of it. The absence of government support was a critical factor in this expanding issue, with three in every five freelancers saying the pandemic contrarily affected their business.
Need of a government support
The research likewise tracked down that more limited co. Directors, who were prohibited from the Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS), stated a decrease in mental well-being when compared with sole traders.
“We continue to urge the government to introduce a sectorial support and stimulus package to protect affected sectors such as events and the creative industry – and also give them the boost they need to get back on their feet once the economy fully reopens,” said Andy Chamberlain, Director of Policy at the self-employment trade association, IPSE.
IPSE has given some suggestions to the UK government to oversee the mental health issues among contractors and freelancers.
- Guaranteeing adaptable and reasonable Covid support as the nation rises out of lockdown.
- Mental health improvement and stability support for freelancers.
- Co-working spaces with business rates relief and urge end-users to help freelancers' in their mental well-being.
To sum up:
Chloé Jepps, Head of Research at IPSE said: “As this research shows, poor mental health not only leads to a rise in conditions such as anxiety and depression; it also leads to problems with freelancers’ work and livelihoods. While freelancers should take time to consider and improve their mental health, the government should also raise awareness about this issue and incentivise client businesses to support their freelancers’ mental health needs.”
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