Despite the long hours and red tape, people operating their own business remain more satisfied with their careers than employees, and — surprisingly — are less stressed.
Of its survey of 1,000 Australians, evenly split between workers and business owners, Vistaprint found that roughly one-third of self-employed people rated their career satisfaction at nine out of 10 or greater, more than twice the proportion of employees who gave themselves a similar satisfaction rating.
A sense of ownership was the key determinant in this sense of satisfaction, while workers were more concerned with workplace conditions.
Interestingly, it was a not a case of less time at work equalled greater satisfaction either. According to the survey, almost one in three business owners regularly work more than 50 hours a week, compared to just 5 per cent (or one in 20) employees.
Yet the most surprising finding was that despite working longer hours and dealing with all of the added hassles of running a business, self-employed people also reported being less stressed.
Some 58 per cent of employees admitted to feeling stressed about their work, but less than half of business owners (48 per cent) suggested they felt the same way.
“Becoming your own boss can feel like a leap into the dark, so it’s very encouraging to see that so many Australian business owners have enjoyed their journey,” said Melissa Haywood, head of Vistaprint Australia.
“When your company’s success lies in your hands, it can be easy to take on too much, and the extra weight of responsibility is one of the challenges we see small business owners grappling with. But this shouldn’t put people off running their own business, as the reward of having full control over your destiny is a happier working life.”
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.