By Claire West
According to new research from Direct Line Home Business Insurance, more than three million (six per cent) Britons have held a second job in the past six months and a further 1.5 million (four per cent) have launched their own business to supplement the income from their primary job.
As over half (55 per cent) of Brits who have taken on additional work do so in the evenings, Direct Line Home Business Insurance has termed this phenomenon the rise of the ‘five to niners'.
The trend in people looking to boost their income goes beyond conventional self-employment or second jobs. The research found 36 per cent of people have undertaken additional activities in the past six months to increase their earnings, with 11.5 million (24 per cent) people making extra money online, potentially selling merchandise through online auction sites or taking on freelance design work. Approximately 800,000 people have launched local businesses in their local area to earn extra income in the past six months.
On average Brits who have taken on additional work to boost their bank balance are pocketing almost £2,536 a year. Direct Line Home Business Insurance's research reveals over two million people are clocking up at least 18 hours a week, through second jobs or extra work. They may be running home businesses, including graphic design contracting from home, running small catering businesses for weddings and parties, or small manufacturing businesses.
Jazz Gakhal, Head of Direct Line Home Business Insurance commented: "Many people are exploring creative avenues to make extra money. People are looking to supplement their monthly income be it selling online, freelancing, or starting their own business. Some will be building up their own companies at home while maintaining the security of a regular income before making the switch to being a full time business owner and manager."
Most extra earnings are made in the evenings, with 55 per cent working ‘five to nine' after completing their day jobs. Weekends (39 per cent) and later on after the family have gone to bed (26 per cent) are the next most popular working hours.
On a regional basis people in the South East are most likely to have supplemented their income in the last six months, with 40 per cent of residents seeking to boost their primary income. People in Scotland are the least likely (32 per cent) to have taken on extra work to boost their income alongside their regular employment.
Jazz continued: "Many people may not realise if they are completing additional work from home, they may need specialist home business insurance because they may not be covered by their home policy. If a business is based at home, it does not mean it won't have some of the potential risks a conventional business has. There are many things that need to be covered to ensure in the event of something going wrong, whether covering stock, protection against claims from others, or even ensuring if trading is interrupted you still have an income, home business insurance is essential."