Contracting for work-life balance
The demand for an improved work-life balance and enhanced workplace flexibility has never been greater. With everyone from fresh graduates through to baby boomers looking for more freedom in where, when and how they work, the rise of contracting and freelance working has continued. Here's why:
According to Timewise, 87% of full-time employees in the UK work flexibly or reveal that they want to. And for many, a move from permanent work to contracting may be the perfect solution to add a better balance.
By nature, contracting allows workers to pick and choose the projects they work on, giving them the opportunity to take breaks in between contracts and opt for work that fits their lifestyle. Add in the opportunity to earn better money from more lucrative contracts and the ability to work in exciting destinations all over the world, and contracting becomes a very desirable option for many in the UK.
Contractors typically work autonomously and are expected to be experts in their field. This style of work allows you to hone in on a niche and work with a variety of different professionals, equipment and processes. Such variety enables you to upskill quickly and work with some of the best people and products on the market – something any worker will value.
The contractor market has gone from strength to strength in recent years, and TechCrunch goes so far as to predict that the market will be made up of 40% contractors by the year 2021. Whether you're interested in living in a range of different locations, taking on new challenges or having complete control over your career, contracting may be the solution you've been looking for.
While you can contract in almost any industry around the world, there are naturally some that offer higher demand for skilled talent than others. According to LinkedIn research, the top three pools of contractor talent are the fields of media and communications, corporate services and software and IT. As for skills most in demand by organisations, the more traditional expertise in project management and project delivery is still highly valued, while newer skills such as those in social media and digital marketing are being increasingly sought after.
A better balance
New research shows that nearly half of freelancers and contractors in the UK are most confident about achieving a better work-life balance in the next year, according to Business Matters magazine. In addition, 71% of workers who operate on a freelance or contract basis are feeling either confident or balanced about their business performance over the same time frame. Meanwhile, LinkedIn research shows that a better work-life balance is the most sought-after element of a new role, above compensation and benefits.
One 2012 study of more than 12,000 contractors showed an improvement not only in daily rates but also an overwhelming sentiment that contracting has improved workers' work-life balance; the study showed 70% of contractors echoed that notion. The majority also reported high rates of contract extension and positive experiences with recruiters, with generally positive attitudes towards contracting as a career.
Meanwhile, organisations look to contractors to fill difficult-to-source skills gaps, complete major projects and act as a specialist resource.
At Quanta, we have a long history of supplying major organisations with skilled and dedicated contractors, many of whom we work with time and time again. We're renowned within the industry for our Quanta contractors, who arrive on day one of any contract ready to make an immediate impact. Our vetting process is thorough and we only recommend people we know will be a perfect fit. Similarly, we make sure our contractors feel comfortable and confident on every project, supporting them at every stage of the process.