One in five (19%) adults in the UK have started a ‘side hustle’ since March 2020.
Almost two thirds (63%) of them are still pursuing their ‘side hustle’ today, according to new research from insurance provider, Aviva.
When asked what their original motivation was to start a side hustle in addition to their normal, full-time job during the pandemic, most say it was financially motivated.
Two in five (39%) people said they did it because they saw an opportunity to turn a hobby into an income; others to ‘make ends meet’ (30%); become financially independent (21%) or to pay off debts (18%).
Over a quarter (27%) started their new vocation to empower themselves/ gain confidence and improve their mental health, while 16% just wanted to practise the skills they had attained (i.e. photography, counselling etc).
Just under two thirds (63%) of those who started a side hustle since March 2020, the equivalent of 6.49 million Brits1, are still active in them today.
Also, 37 percent have returned to their day jobs being their main source of income now that lockdowns are over and normality has ensued.
The most popular ‘side hustle’ people chose to pursue was to ‘sell handcrafted products’ (23%), followed by freelancing (12%). One in nine (11%) turned to art, 9 percent to photography, while a similar number (10%) tried their hand at being a social media influencer.
This was most popular with those aged 16-24 (13%) – no one in the 55+ age bracket pursued this as a supplementary activity. Other, slightly less popular, income boosters included becoming a courier (6%), teaching (6%), driving a taxi (4%) and offering nutritional advice (4%).
Alistair McQueen, Head of Savings & Retirement at Aviva said:
“The pandemic has transformed how we relate to work. Aviva’s research reveals two sides to this story. For some, the pandemic has brought greater work-life flexibility. This appears to have fuelled a boom in ‘side hustles’. For others, the pandemic has brought greater financial strain and this appears to have a fuelled a need to look elsewhere to make ends meet.
“The enterprise is to be admired and the talents are to be celebrated. It’s also impressive that many are looking to use the extra income to bolster tomorrow’s longer-term financial needs, as well as those of today.”
Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview. With a master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at the University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.