Flexible working touted as biggest draw to contracting

In case you hadn’t already sussed it out yourself, a new research study found that flexible working is one of the biggest draws to contracting.

Ask anyone who’s made the jump from being a traditional employee and embraced working as a freelancer or an umbrella contractor and they’ll tell you, enthusiastically, how wonderful it is to have so much flexibility in their work schedules. Gone are the days of waking up before dawn to rush down to the office first thing in the morning, fighting against the madding crowd – if you’re a contractor or freelance worker you have the freedom to choose when you work and for whom.

So yes, there’s that. Now there’s real-world data to back up the obvious claim that contracting on a flexible schedule makes you happier and therefore more productive. A research study by Vodafone discovered that 83 per cent of employers and employees worldwide feel that adopting a flexible work method causes productivity to spike. The ten-country, 8,000-plus respondent report also found that almost two out of every three small and medium-sized enterprises, multinational companies, and public sector organsiations included in the study said that company profits have gone up partly due to flexible working.

So what’s been driving this change to the employment landscape? Well the research says that with the Internet become more reliable and quicker across the globe, it’s become much easier to work for international clients or even for those just across town without having to leave the comfort of your home – or anywhere else for that matter. In fact, 61 per cent of respondents indicated that employees were using their home Internet connections to work remotely, while around 1 out of 4 were able to use a mobile data connection in conjunction with their laptops, tablets or smartphones to work from nearly anywhere.

Still, the survey found that there’s still plenty to accomplish when it comes to supporting flexible working. Around 20 per cent of respondents said their companies had yet to embrace the concept, instead insisting on clinging to the older, more traditional employment methods, ones that consider remote working, telecommuting, or flexible working too much of a possible liability or too avant-garde. In today’s adapt-or-die business environment I’m sure these particular organisations will be quick to change their minds if they want to remain viable in the coming months and years as technology makes flexible working even more productive. Honestly, what are these employers thinking?

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