Independent Contractors Emerge from GFC Happy, Accountable and More Resilient
The research involved an attitudinal survey of 372 white-collar contract professionals across Australia and assessed the five areas of lifestyle, well-being, commitment to current clients, perceived support from clients, and industry-affecting trends.
Overall satisfaction with their lifestyle increased slightly in 2010 (from 7.3 out of ten in 2009 to 7.4), with respondents citing a range of benefits including the sense of freedom, flexible hours, variety of work and the potential to work shorter hours. Well-being – or the psychological and emotional aspects of being an IPro – also increased (from 7.7 to 7.8), with IPros continuing to report that they feel proud, happy, enthusiastic and immersed in their work. Balancing these rises were marginal drops in scores relating to commitment to current clients and perceived support from clients, both of which slipped by 0.2 (to 6.2 and 6.4 respectively).
The view that emerges from the research is one of IPros as highly competent, self-aware individuals who are very comfortable with their choice of vocation. They display a high sense of commitment and engagement to employers who can meet their needs for challenge, variety, flexibility and mutual respect. This sense of commitment was most evident when participants were asked what they would do if they won a $10 million lottery prize. Forty-one percent stated they would keep going to work as they love what they do. Interestingly, 21 percent would give half to charity and buy a property with the remaining funds.
Matthew Franceschini, CEO of Entity Solutions, observed, “IPros provide the additional skills, resources and expertise that almost every organisation needs to draw upon from time to time. Even though the conditions of their engagement may be different, for the duration of their engagement they are effectively another member of staff. In recognising this, it makes absolute sense that every manager should learn to identify what motivates and engages an IPro so that they can better manage these temporary relationships and harvest the benefits in knowledge and skills which IPros can hold.”
The report also shows the last 12 months marked a year of change for many IPros as the market slowdown impacted employment conditions. Forty-two percent of respondents found they had to become more flexible in their expectations and more than one-quarter (26 percent) has to endure more competition for available contracts. Others noted taking pay cuts and accepting more pressure to perform consistently above and beyond in their workplaces.
The need to respond and adapt to new circumstances is acknowledged in the IPros' own responses when asked to select which animal characteristics are most suited to describe surviving as an IPro in 2010. Sixty-four percent nominated a chameleon – flexible, quick and readily adaptable to change.
“Overall, the movement between the 2009 and 2010 results suggest an increasingly positive direction for how IPros feel about themselves and their working life. Of possible concern for organisations engaging IPros is that this appears to be counterbalanced by a slightly more negative direction in terms of how IPros feel about their clients.” Commented Dr Tui McKeown, Deputy Director of SEIRnet (Social and Economic Interface Research Network), Monash University. “The results from the IPro Index research confirm that the world of work is changing and that Australian organisations need to start taking a good look at just who makes up their workforce and how IPros can provide them with competitive advantages. The results of the IPro Index suggest that organisations will also need to put intelligent strategies together to better source, engage and manage this educated, resilient and increasingly self aware workforce.”
About Entity Solutions
A multi-award winning company with offices in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth, Entity Solutions is the leading Professional Engagement Services organisation in Australia. Combining consulting, engagement, financial and business services, Entity Solutions eliminate the burden of concern and time outlays between contractors (referred to as Independent Professionals [IPros] by Entity Solutions) and the organisations engaging them.
Entity Solutions maximises financial reward for all stakeholders, ensuring that all parties have a compliant, risk free and fully optimised relationship, and enjoy the freedom and control needed to focus on what they do best. This is achieved through five distinct business units:
Entity Enterprise IPro lifecycle management for corporations;
Entity Engagement IPro engagement solutions for organisations;
Entity Management IPro engagement solutions for individuals;
Entity Migration individual and corporate migration solutions;
Entity Business one stop business establishment, management and improvement services.
For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact David Bass, Director, Bass PR on (02) 9967 8022.