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Contractors most motivated by lifestyle benefits, survey finds

Contractors are motivated more by lifestyle benefits than money, according to an in-depth survey carried out by Parasol.    

The employment services provider asked its contractor employees to name their favourite thing about being a career contractor.

More than 70% of respondents cited lifestyle factors, such as the freedom and flexibility on offer (38%), the variety of working on different assignments (21%) and work-life balance (12%).

Just 29% said earnings potential was the main attraction of working as a contractor.  

The emphasis on lifestyle factors over money was most pronounced amongst contractors working in digital, media and creative. Just 24% of respondents working in these sectors answered that earnings potential was their favourite thing about contracting.

In contrast, the survey suggests that a slightly higher proportion of contractors working in engineering and manufacturing, IT and technology and pharmaceuticals and life sciences are motivated by money.

Between 30% and 32% of contractors working in each of these sectors said earnings potential was the biggest draw for them.

Parasol managing director Derek Kelly said: “These findings provide a fascinating insight into the mindset and motivation of today’s career contractor.

“It seems that money is no longer the main attraction for skilled professionals who choose to work as a contractor.

“In the time-pressured world of 2013, freedom from the rigidity of & lsquo;traditional’ employment – and the subsequent ability to assert greater control over working patterns – is a major draw for contractors.

“Variety is the spice of life, and with more than 20% of our employees citing the chance to work on different assignments as their favourite thing about contracting, the same appears to be true in the world of work.

“As well as contractors, these results will also make interesting reading for business owners and HR professionals keen to retain their best employees.  

“In many cases, contractors are driven to embark on a contracting career by a determination to enjoy greater flexibility and an improved work-life balance.

“Forward-thinking organisations that can find ways to offer these benefits will have a better chance of retaining their best thinkers and discouraging them from going down the contracting route.”

Cheshire-based Parasol has employed more than 70,000 skilled, professional career contractors since its launch in 2000.

Career contractors and freelancers who join Parasol become employees of the company, entitling them to a contract of employment and a wide range of rights and benefits – including holiday entitlement, sick pay, access to a workplace pension and a guaranteed 336 hours of work every year.


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