One in three self-employed Belgians are not satisfied with their work-life balance. This emerges from an Acerta study of some 2,000 people. The number of hours worked remains a major sore point. Fabienne Evrard, the Director of Acerta “We note that for those who are self-employed in our country, there is, in particular, an imbalance with their private life. Some 31% are unsatisfied with the time they can devote to their family or with their personal fulfilment.”
Those who self-employed as their main job are particularly optimistic during the course of their first year of activity, however their enthusiasm wanes from the second year.
Ms Evrard states, “The number who are unsatisfied increases proportionately to the number of years worked self-employed. We are observing the lowest level between six and ten years of trading as self-employed: no less than 46% are by then dissatisfied by their work-life balance.”
Those self-employed as an additional income are generally more optimistic, and the study says that for them dissatisfaction only kicks in at the end of ten years.
The feeling of not having the work-life balance is greater for those who are self-employed as their main role who are employing staff. The statistics go from 35% dissatisfied with those employing nobody to 46% being dissatisfied if employing one or two employees, and then to 48% for those employing three to five employees. Ms Evrard confirms, “Amongst those with more than six colleagues we see that the quality of life of the self-employed once again improves,” the latter being able to delegate more.
The number of work hours is the first element of dissatisfaction (for 87%), next followed by the portion of time taken up by the drudgery of additional administration, which is considered to be too high (74%).
As a consequence, 79% of respondents speak of being tired, whilst 71% suffer from stress.
The Brussels Times