You're 3x more likely to be extremely happy if you're self employed

A large number of the world's best consultants and experts are no longer employed but work as independent professionals. a-connect has built a global network of some 1,900 ace independent professionals which work with them to address clients' business challenges. We wanted to gauge the impact on an individual's work-life balance, income and overall happiness of choosing to work independently, and be self employed.

The survey, conducted of over 400 self-employed and full-time professionals discovered that self-employed professionals were more likely to feel extremely happy during work hours, as they view their work as a key part of what makes them happy. Those who were employed full time were generally happy within work, though viewed their employment as a means to gain happiness from leisure activities outside of working hours.

For self employed respondents, work is a source of happiness whereas for full time employed respondents, work is viewed as a means to happiness.

For self employed professionals, work itself is closely tied to general happiness and health, as opposed to being a facilitator for other activities that contribute to happiness.

When respondents were asked 'given the opportunity, would you change your employment tomorrow?' the majority of full time employed respondents said they would probably change their job. Of those self employed respondents, a 23% majority was a resounding 'definitely not'.

Self employed individuals tend to work slightly more hours with 42% of self employed professionals working 40-50 hour weeks and 52% of employed professionals work 30-40 hour weeks, though it's difficult to determine whether this is primarily through choice or need.

Salary does not vary hugely between employment types and most (56% employed, 59% freelance) are satisfied with their remuneration and believe it to be in line with their experience and output.

With over 40% of self employed professionals describe work as having a positive or very positive effect on their overall physical and mental health - maybe 2016 could be the year you chose to go independent?