Satisfaction among self-employed workers higher than ever, survey shows

A survey by the Social-Economic Council of Flanders (SERV) and its research sector, the Innovation and Labour Foundation, has found that self-employed workers in Flanders are more satisfied with their jobs than ever.

SERV has measured the quality of jobs for employees every three years since 2004. In 2007, it began surveying self-employed people. This year, 1,788 self-employed people in Flanders provided their input.

A job is considered "workable" if there are no complaints about stress, motivation, learning opportunities and work-life balance. In 2023, 52.5 per cent of self-employed people gave positive feedback in all areas. In 2007, this was 47.7 per cent.

"Because self-employed entrepreneurs 'work for themselves', the image spontaneously arises that they are strongly driven in what they do," according to SERV. "The figures confirm this. Nine in ten (90.1 per cent) are motivated to work." The learning opportunities are even better: approximately all self-employed people (97.3 per cent) have sufficient learning opportunities.

Work-life balance

However, work stress and work-life balance score lower, with over a third experiencing too much stress (37.8 per cent). That issue is most significant among self-employed people with employees (44 per cent) who have to deal with more responsibilities and administration than entrepreneurs without employees (34 per cent).

Although one in three self-employed people (29.7 per cent) still struggle with balancing work and life, this is five percentage points less than in 2007 (34.5 per cent). The average number of working hours fell from 56.8 per week to 52.2 during that period, indicating a change in individuals' mentalities.

"Just like the SERV, I believe that these figures show that the investments we have made with the social partners, including for self-employed entrepreneurs, are absolutely worthwhile," said Flemish Labour minister Jo Brouns. "If we join forces, I am convinced we can keep even more people employed in a healthy and workable job. We will continue to work."

#FlandersNewsService | © PHOTO CHRIS DELMAS / AFP

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