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Self-employed people are happier and more engaged in their work than those in any other profession, according to a new study of 5,000 workers.
The study by Professor Peter Warr from the Management School and Professor Ilke Inceoglu from the University of Exeter found that despite working longer hours and having less job security, self-employed workers were among the happiest with more freedom and control over their work life.
Researchers analyzed data collected from workers in the UK, the United States, Australia and New Zealand across a number of industries including retail, IT, health, finance, and education.
The study, published in the journal Work, Employment, and Society, carried out further analysis of individuals across four job grades: non-managerial workers, supervisors, middle managers, and senior managers and directors.
The study reported that workers in organizations with non-managerial roles had the lowest levels of job satisfaction and engagement. Researchers noted that both satisfaction and engagement improved with each increase in job grade.
Professor Warr said: “Professional workers who are self-employed really value the autonomy they have. They have the freedom to innovate, express their own views, have influence beyond their own role and compete with other companies and people.
Co-author Professor Ilke Inceoglu added: “Being engaged in their jobs makes people feel energized and pleased with their own contribution.
“Measuring how engaged people are in their work is, therefore, a really useful way to gauge their well-being and shows we must move beyond just looking at job satisfaction.”
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