Posted on: 30 August 2019

Risk management to care for your well-being

Currently, in the UK there are 5 million self-employed people, which makes up around 15% of the entire workforce. This represents a 47% increase in self-employed workers since 2001.

Whilst being self-employed has many benefits, such as deciding your work hours and working from home, there are risks that you might not have considered which could hinder your health and well-being. Read on to find out how to look after yourself in the workplace.

Risk associated with self-employment

The Centre for Research of Self-Employment has found that those who are self-employed are exposed to higher levels of stress and anxiety than those who are classed as employees. The top causes of stress were found to be working in isolation, financial pressures, inconsistent hours, not taking time off and not having paid holidays.

This can all lead to mental health problems, such as depression, stress and anxiety.

How to reduce the risks

As we previously mentioned, self-employment can be very enjoyable as you will have good job satisfaction and fulfilment, not to mention having more control over your financial future, so follow these tips to make sure that you reap the rewards of self-employment whilst keeping yourself healthy.

Keeping social

Statistics have shown that 84% of self-employed people work alone, which often leads to cases of isolation, which in turn can lead to depression and anxiety. Make an effort to stay in touch with others with the following tips:

  • Create a schedule for working that allows you to make time to see friends and family.
  • If you have a hobby, see if you can find a group that you can join. This will help you focus on your hobby and meet new people with similar interests.
  • Approach other freelance workers who you may be able to network with for your mutual benefit. Try to meet in person rather than online to develop a working relationship.
  • Look to join networking groups for freelancers that you can use either online or in person.

Take breaks

Approaching deadlines and client encounters can often make it difficult to relax. However, having that time to switch off is vital for your well-being. Consider these tips to help you switch off from your daily pressures:

  • Take some time away from work to go for a walk in the fresh air. You could also run to get the heart pumping more.
  • If you can’t get away from your desk, take quick breaks to rest your eyes and stretch your muscles.
  • Listen to relaxing music
  • Put the kettle on for a cup of tea or coffee and enjoy a healthy snack.

Take time to switch off

Whilst you may want to put in the time and effort to ensure that your business is a success, at the expense of your personal life, it is important that you take the time to forget about your business for a short period of time. Again, it is about managing your time so that you have the chance to remove work from your life for a short time, and even take a short digital detox.

Have a routine

Having flexible working hours is a benefit to being your own boss, but your body is more efficient when it has an established routine. To keep in routine, make sure that you maintain regular patterns of sleep, eat at similar times and have a working schedule to keep your productivity at optimum levels

Get away

Taking a break now and then is good for you, but spending time away improves your heart and brain health. Communication with your clients is key when taking time away, so make sure that they know that they might not be able to reach you and try not to schedule any key decisions to be made around the time you will be away.

Manage your cash flow

One of the most stressful parts of being self-employed is trying to keep money coming into your business. Create a budget so that you can track your incomings and outgoings month by month, keep your spending under control and prepare for any large outgoings, such as insurance or rent payments. If you are struggling to claim money from clients, familiarise yourself with interest and debt recovery costs from the Government website.  There is also a code endorsed by the Department for Business, Energy and Industry Strategy called the Prompt Payment Code, that helps you have standardised payment practices so that you can have your invoices settled on time.

Know your rights

Have the ability to avoid legal disputes or non-compliance by knowing the legal rights for your business, as they could be expensive and potentially ruin your business. Depending on the nature of your business, health and safety laws may not apply for your business, but you should always remain vigilant and practise good health and safety.

Freelance insurance with Premierline

Freelance work can take many forms, which is why it is important to have a bespoke insurance policy that is unique to your business if the worse happens.

Premierline is a business insurance broker and are experienced at arranging freelancers insurance. Our insurance advisors will assess your business’ needs and find the perfect insurance cover for your business from our panel of some of the most well-known UK insurers at a competitive price. 

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