UK’s flexible workforce is still positive despite depressed economy

When asked how they felt about the current state of the contracting market, about their general outlook on it, almost two thirds of responders scored 4 or above on a scale of 1 to 6, with 6 being the most positive. This clearly indicates a high level of overall positivity in the outlook of the contracting market as a whole.

More than 75 per cent of those surveyed had made a conscious decision to choose contracting as a way of life, clearly indicating that people are committed to contracting as a way of life and as a long term career option. More than 50 per cent stated that there had been a positive effect on their work/life balance since becoming a contractor – and over three quarters said they find contracting more satisfying than being an employee, confirming also that they do not miss the benefits.

Only 7 per cent of those surveyed said they would definitely go back to being an employee if the offer was available. In fact, only 3 per cent said that they are unlikely to still be contracting in the next couple of years – and of the other 97 per cent, more than three quarters said they will definitely still be contracting in two years time.

The survey found that the main things that responders enjoy about contracting are higher rates of pay, coupled with more freedom and flexibility in the way they live their lives. These came out clearly above over all others, but were closely followed by no office politics, variety of work, a better work/life balance, being viewed as an industry expert and skill development. Lastly, over two thirds of those surveyed fully expected to be contracting for as long as they have, demonstrating a clear plan, and a commitment to that plan, as a life choice.

When looking at the specific of the ‘contracts’ which responders were currently undertaking, the survey found that just 10 per cent of those asked were not currently in a contract or about to start one, clearly indicating that the majority of contractors are able to find, and keep, a contract on an ongoing basis.

When asked about how they found their current role, more than a third stated that they used their own contacts or got it though recommendation, demonstrating the importance of building and maintaining a personal industry network. The survey included two key questions about people’s views on the ease of finding a contract. Almost two thirds of those surveyed said it was very easy or relatively easy to secure their most recent contract, and half stated it had been easier to secure their most recent contract than their previous one, again clearly indicating that the contractor market is alive and well despite a backdrop of uncertainty.

Commenting on these findings, Simon Dolan Managing Director for SJD accountancy, said: “The statistics we have gathered clearly show that the contracting industry is still doing well and that this way of life offers huge benefits for people who choose to step away from full time employment – preferring a more flexible and rewarding way of life instead.”