The self-employed worked an average of 57 hours a week in Belgium, according to the Securex employment trends barometer.
More than three-quarters of self-employed workers, worked more than 50 hours a week, with 1 in 10 exceeding 80 hours. “The self-employed in Belgium set the bar high. They work a lot, don’t take many holidays and have difficulty separating their working from their personal lives,” Hermina Van Coillie, HR Research Expert at Securex commented on Wednesday.
By comparison, an employee in Belgium worked an average of 39 hours a week.
It should come as no surprise, then, that 79% of the self-employed considered that work interfered with their private life. And this feeling grew with time. Amongst wage earners, the proportion of workers who saw work as a disruptive influence on their private life was only one in three.
“Switching off is important, but not obvious,” Securex pointed out. “Barely 28% of the self-employed can keep a distance between themselves and work in their free time.”
This lack of a clear dividing line caused stress: 66% of the self-employed said this worried them, as opposed to 53% of employees. “Contrary to what might be believed, it’s the experienced self-employed who undergo the most stress,” Van Coillie pointed out. Effectively, with experience often came other responsibilities such as employing staff, investments, and so on.
However, some of the self-employed inflicted stress on themselves. “Barely half the self-employed said they had achieved their work goals” according to the barometer, as against 81% of employees, who were less concerned.
The study on which the figures were based was conducted in collaboration with Ghent University academics among 401 self-employed workers.
The Brussels Times