Taking back control

One of the main well-known factors causing stress in the workplace is insufficient control over one’s work. Do any of these examples ring bells with you?

  • Feel you don’t agree with the direction of the business
  • Don’t like the culture
  • Don’t like how people are managed
  • Don’t like the ethos or values of the business
  • Don’t have flexible working hours
  • Can’t work from home
  • Can’t take holiday when you want to
  • Don’t like or respect your boss or other managers

All these lack-of-control frustrations can detract from otherwise rewarding and challenging jobs, and add to stress levels. One of the advantages of becoming self-employed is the greater degree of control you have, but what does that actually mean?

Although becoming self-employed presents its own challenges and isn’t for everyone, taking back control of your working life (and the rest of your life!) is fantastic and can be a big stress-reliever. It’s not just about being able to control your working hours, arrange work around your family commitments and work from home, it’s a wider and more fundamental change.

You can decide how many hours to work, knowing that the financial impact of working fewer or more hours is yours alone. You can decide to take a holiday at a time that works for your family.

You can decide how ambitious you are for your business. Some self-employed professionals are very ambitious and want to grow rapidly, take on staff, and some are content to build a steady, manageable income and take the foot off the pedal a bit. You can vary that to suit you and your family.

You can decide where to focus your business based on your own preferences, expertise, experience and other factors. Large or small clients? What sector? What location? What specialism? It’s up to you. Our partners work with small and medium sized employers but that’s a wide field in itself and if you have a particular specialism you want to exploit, or are getting lots of clients in one particular sector and want to focus on that, you can do so.

You can decide how much of the business running you want/are able to do yourself and how much you want to outsource, and when.

You can walk away from clients if you want to.

Of course with all this control comes responsibility as well. If you take too much time off your income will suffer, and you may find yourself getting disturbed while on holiday with the odd emergency.

But I find I relish the kind of responsibility that comes with running my own business, and the level of control involved makes the responsibility an exciting challenge rather than a burden. I’m more personally invested in it than I ever was when working in-house (even though some of my previous employers were fantastic organisations doing brilliant and sometimes exciting things), so the successes are more rewarding and the motivation is much greater.


If you’re interested in talking to us about becoming a partner with face2faceHR, do get in touch.