IT workers go freelance for better lifestyle

Flexible working benefits outweigh better pay, according to survey of IT contractors.

A better lifestyle is the most important reason influencing IT contractors to go freelance, according to new research.

A survey of 2,000 contractors by services provider giant group has sown that 37 per cent listed lifestyle benefits, such as flexible working, as the main reason they opted to move from full time work to freelance. The second largest group, at 22 per cent, said freelance let them charge more for their work, while 15 per cent said reducing their tax bill was the main reason.

"Lifestyle and being able to get a premium rate have always been tops," said the group's managing director Matthew Brown. "How much of that is psychology as opposed to reality, I don't know."

He said that staff employees are less likely to get flexible holiday time than freelancers. "It's very difficult for employers to do that for permanent staff," he said.

Brown added that the study suggests that contractors are not primarily motivated by tax savings - something that has driven government policy.

Brown said: "It was feared that relentless challenges to contractors' tax status would drive IT professionals away from freelancing, but this research would suggest otherwise. Tax is an issue for every worker in the UK, but contractors still enjoy considerable lifestyle benefits and it is those benefits that really make freelancing worthwhile."

The survey also found that two-thirds of contractors believe they get more varied work as freelancers, and 57 per cent said they had more autonomy.

Brown said: "It is this variety of work which, apart from making freelancing stimulating, serves as a mechanism for the transfer of skills and often means contractors are one step ahead of their colleagues in permanent roles in terms of familiarity with the latest technologies. This is a critical weapon in the ongoing battle against skills shortages in the UK IT industry."

Featured Resources

How virtual desktop infrastructure enables digital transformation

Challenges and benefits of VDI

Free download

The Okta digital trust index

Exploring the human edge of trust

Free download

Optimising workload placement in your hybrid cloud

Deliver increased IT agility with the cloud

Free Download

Modernise endpoint protection and leave your legacy challenges behind

The risk of keeping your legacy endpoint security tools

Download now

Most Popular

How to move Microsoft's Windows 11 from a hard drive to an SSD
Microsoft Windows

How to move Microsoft's Windows 11 from a hard drive to an SSD

4 Jan 2022
How to boot Windows 11 in Safe Mode
Microsoft Windows

How to boot Windows 11 in Safe Mode

6 Jan 2022
Microsoft Exchange servers break thanks to 'Y2K22' bug
email delivery

Microsoft Exchange servers break thanks to 'Y2K22' bug

4 Jan 2022