Contractors and independent professionals love their work and are generally committed to their lifestyles, according to new research conducted by Dr Tui McKeown, Deputy Director of Monash University’s Social & Economic Interface Research Network.
Dr McKeown’s research was sponsored by Entity Solutions and found that “iPros” – Entity’s preferred name for contractors and independent professionals – “are generally satisfied with ... working as an iPro,” see this style of work as “a preferred lifestyle” and are “highly competent and self aware individuals who are generally very comfortable with their choice of vocation.”
The 372 iPros surveyed – some from the IT&T sectors, which along with engineering remains the dominant sector for this style of work – reported high levels of enthusiasm for their work, strong engagement with their employers and good commitment to remaining with an employer.
Many also indicated that they felt their skills are highly-transferable, with 38% saying it would be “somewhat easy” and 20% “quite easy” to obtain similar work of the same quality. 46% said they would find it either “somewhat”, “quite” or “very” easy to find better work.
But Dr McKeown also noted that while iPros are very engaged in their work, they are a little less engaged with the organisations that employ them.
“They are not making an organisation’s problems their own,” she told a press lunch where the iPro Index was launched, before adding that iPros remain innovative where some employees see a permanent job as excusing them from a need to innovate and “switch their brains off when they walk through the door.”
The report concludes that iPros’ high satisfaction with their work makes them an ideal source of labour, but that employers need to develop strategies to use them well. Dr McKeown also noted that there are already around one million iPros and that the high levels of satisfaction among this population may prompt fast growth of new iPros, making it even more important for employers to find ways to work with this class of workers.