How many freelancers work on Christmas Day?

Words, hubbul

Over the holidays, many of us switch off and enjoy a well-earned break. The same however cannot be said for large numbers of freelancers and contractors who might well find themselves working on Christmas Day. Freelancer accountancy, Crunch, has revealed that as many as 1.04m of the UK’s 4.8m self-employed could be working come December 25th. 

In previous years, a third of independent workers have worked on Christmas Day. 36% of freelancers living in Scotland are most likely to, closely followed by 33% of London-based independent workers.

Unsurprisingly, it's not uncommon for self-employed health and social care professionals to work on Christmas Day, with 68% doing so in the past. In comparison, 31% of creative freelancers have worked on 25th December, while 30% of self-employed accountants have done so. 27% of self-employed retailers and 19% of construction professionals have spent Christmas Day on the job. 

While profession inevitably plays a part in whether freelancers will be working on Christmas, to some extent age and in turn experience does too. 33% of freelancers aged between 18-24 are the most likely to have worked on Christmas Day. This is followed closely by 31% of independent workers aged between 45-54. Interestingly, those aged 25-34 are least likely to have. 

Refreshingly, the research suggests that gender has no bearing on whether a freelancer will spend Christmas Day working. Self-employed men are just as likely as women to work. 

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December is widely regarded as the most isolating month for self-employed workers, as staff parties and social events fill up the calendar. Crunch’s research highlights that 22% of freelancers miss socialising with work colleagues, the same percentage that would like to receive an end of year bonus. Just one in five are disappointed they cannot attend staff parties, while 16% miss the ‘relaxed office banter’ in the lead up to Christmas.

Sharon, a freelance Graphic Designer, is one of those independent workers who views Christmas as an opportunity to down tools guilt-free.

“Working in an office you clearly take holidays and can switch off and hand work over to a colleague to do if necessary. Now I’m self-employed I need to be more assertive and take days off. Usually it only happens when I go away. Christmas holidays are good as everyone takes a break and I get no emails about work. People at my network groups have talked about allowing yourself days off by putting it in your diary and keeping to it.”

Will you be taking time off this Christmas or do you plan to work through? Join the conversation…

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