Higher rates of pay and an escape from office politics are leading more IT contractors to remain working for themselves, according to a survey.
The survey of more than 1,000 contractors – carried out by accountancy firm for contractors, consultants and interims, SJD Accountancy – found 36% are asking for between £500 and £750 per day, up 20% in the past two years.
Some 62% said “no office politics” was a key factor in working for themselves. Other factors included flexibility (60%) and freedom (52%), and almost three-quarters said contracting has had a positive effect on their work-life balance, up 16% since last year.
The survey also revealed that more people are making a decision mid-career to work for themselves, with over half of contractors in their forties (34%) and fifties (20%). A total of 74% admitted to consciously choosing a contracting career.
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The majority of those surveyed (86%) considered the general outlook on the contracting market as positive. In addition, 79% said being a contractor rather than a full-time employee was more satisfying, with only 23% claiming to miss the benefits of being PAYE.
“Asking our clients about their work life and their attitudes to their work is always really revealing," said Claire Johnson, managing director of SJD Accountancy.
"Finding that more people are consciously opting for contracting shows that more people are looking for different ways of working, wanting higher salaries and better roles.
“This research is a great snapshot of the changes taking place in the workforce today and the outlook for the market moving forward.”
Those surveyed also cited better roles as a factor, saying roles such as project managers, business consultants and management consultants are being filled by contractors.
Some 81% said they had been contracting for over a year, with 29% having run their own business for over five years.