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A fifth (19%) of information technology professionals are opting for multiple jobs and the flexibility of temporary contracts in order to improve their work-life balance, variety of work and challenges, according to research released today (Tuesday 17 December 2019).

The research, carried out by recruitment experts Reed Specialist Recruitment, asked 5,000 UK employees about their experience of, and attitude to, temporary and contract working.

Of the sample of 5,000, 337 respondents were from the IT sector.

The survey found that a fifth (19%) held more than one contract role, while 13% have three or more contract roles simultaneously.

Personal development is seen as a key reason why workers are drawn to temporary or short-term contract working arrangements, with variety of work (34%), avoiding getting stale (28%) and access to new challenges (28%), cited as primary motivating factors.

There is also a strong financial incentive behind the wish to pursue contract working arrangements - 28% of workers said that the increased hourly rate they could demand was appealing to them.

Other benefits of temporary recruitment highlighted by the research included better work-life balance (42%), work experience opportunities to strengthen the CV (35%), and the chance to work for yourself (30%).

Chris Adcock, managing director of Reed Technology, said: “Our research shows that this sector is filled with people with a strong desire to learn and investigate new developments. Technology workers are naturally inquisitive and want to experience a variety of work, new challenges and avoid getting stale.

“Constantly on the move, technology workers are already aware of the many benefits, commercial and intellectual, that contract working offers. However, they are still lured back to permanent roles by the security of a steady income and benefits for the future. If these can be addressed through agencies such as Reed Specialist Recruitment – which offers a pension scheme and sick pay to its contract workers – or other means, then there is a major opportunity for both employee and employer.

“Companies can use contractors to call in a vast network of knowledge to their business that they may not be able to afford over a longer period of time. For employees, they get the variety of work they desire and can consistently reach the levels of pay they want. Temporary working has always been popular in technology, but as the UK tech sector continues to grow, there will be a greater opportunity for employees work flexibly and freely with the challenges they desire.”