Despite economic and employment uncertainties, Australia’s white collar contractors have recorded increased levels of happiness, satisfaction and well-being at work, according to a study conducted by professional engagement service provider, Entity Solutions.
The research project, IPro Index 2011, conducted by Monash University, gathered data from 375 white collar contractors, out of which 135 were from the IT and telecommunications industry.
The research identified key trends of white collar contractors in the various sectors and dissected it by profession. They include:
- Lifestyle (overall job satisfaction)
- Well-being (engagement, psychological and emotional aspects)
- Commitment to current client (workspace)
- Perceived support from current client (workplace)
- Trends (current issues)
Entity Solutions CEO and founder, Matthew Franceschini, said, “There are around 10 or 11 million workers in Australia of the 20 million population. Over one million of them identify themselves as independent contractors or professionals – we are talking 10 per cent of the workforce.”
According to the results, the decision to become a contract professional is the result of a conscious choice driven by positive lifestyle and workplace factors.
Those within the IT and telecommunications industry had the highest percentages of respondents choosing a sense of freedom (39 per cent) and perceived ability to earn more (51 per cent) as ‘pull’ factors for entering into the workforce.
Well-being statistics have also grown from 7.7 out of 10 in 2009 to 8.1 in 2011. The IT and telecommunications industry stood in the middle of the other five industries with 5.32/7 for work engagement and 5.11/6 for self-efficacy scores.
However, the results also showed that IT and telecommunications was the second lowest industry, following admin/office support that had a commitment to its current client and perceived support from the client.
Monash University deputy director of SEIRnet, department of management, Dr Tui McKeown, said the scores were lower as they did not feel a sense of commitment and were indifferent in their perceptions of support provided by the current client.
As for trends within the IT and telecommunications environment, knowledge sharing and management were the top key work attitudes at 3.95/5. The lowest score for all categories were from the admin/office industry.
“From a University perspective, IT in Australia is dying. It is just not a career choice now as compared to 10 years ago. So, for contractors to enhance their careers, they should move contracts into permanent roles,” Dr McKeown said.