IT workers want to be their own boss

More IT professionals yearn to be work-at-home contractors who juggle multiple assignments, according to a new UK survey.

Many IT professionals yearn to be work-at-home contractors who juggle multiple assignments.

A third of UK workers would like to go it alone and choose their own gigs, according to a recent survey from recruitment and HR consultancy Hudson. Nearly two-thirds also expect increasing numbers of IT pros to work from home on a freelance basis and half predict they'll take work for multiple companies.

Steve Hallett, senior business manager at recruitment agency Reed Technology, agrees. "It's a growing trend," he said of IT contractors' desire to work for several clients. "Rather than being deemed an employee of one client, contractors look to concurrently run a number of projects."

Hallett also said contractors often prefer to work at home but pointed out "there can be issues of security or network access" that prevent it.

At the same time, employers are keen to give out long-term contracts.

Hallett said: "Now that more confidence has returned to the economy, employers are more willing to take people on longer-term contracts than a year ago."

Over 70 per cent of respondents in the Hudson survey said employers want IT staff to take longer-term contracts and possess better knowledge of the overall business than they do today.

When choosing contract jobs, money is the most important factor, according to the survey.

Hallett added the chance to work with cutting-edge technologies is another key factor for contractors deciding on one job over another.

IT contractors like to let their hair down too, with 60 per cent of those surveyed saying quality of life is more important than their career - and half saying they'd opt for a sabbatical over a cash bonus.

Hallett said contractors do prefer to take a break after long assignments. "Hours can be long and hard [for contractors]. If they're getting paid well, though, they're likely to take time off [when an assignment is complete] if they're in a position to do so financially."

The survey from Hudson consisted of interviews with 2,500 UK workers, of whom over 200 were currently employed in IT.