Despite the freedom and overall satisfaction that comes with working freelance, many contractors face barriers and challenges in their working lives, especially in the areas of finance, clients and roles acquisition, and skills development. The unique challenges that contractors experience require unique solutions and a deep understanding - something companies employing a temporary workforce need to focus on.

What are the biggest challenges that you face as a technology contractor?

4% Managing your finances

7% Caring for your
mental wellbeing

6% Other

Managing your work / life balance

Finding new work & clients

Upskilling / professional development

Industry focus

Despite time / work-life balance being the dominant result overall, the most popular result varied between industries.

Transportation / Logistics, Manufacturing and E-commerce all cited ‘finding new work / clients’ as their biggest challenge, accounting for 33% of their responses.

Government / Public sector rated ‘upskilling/professional development’ as their biggest challenge accounting for 27% of responses.

Interestingly, managing finances scored the lowest across all sectors and accounted for just 4% of responses.

Of the 6% who selected ‘other’. Common responses to this question included:

Finding workplaces where there is no bullying, and where good performance is not taken advantage of.

Finding meaningful, sustainable work.

Staying ahead of the job market ‘curve’ knowing COVID is so ground breaking to old ways of working.

And seeing companies fail to keep up with the new expected normal.

Balancing staying with an existing client or moving onto new opportunities.

Finding work with clients who provide a good working atmosphere,

(Ones that encourage teamwork and respect all team members).

Finding a recruiter that is concerned for my goals, not just theirs.

Sadly, it's dealing with the UK government who have purposefully set out to make contractors feel like second class citizens.

Like we're doing something wrong and our skills aren't as valued as 'permanent' employees or established, large consultancies.

And seeing company’s fail to keep up with the new expected normal.

including social events, learning workshops, and/or virtual guest speakers to network and socialise

1 in every 4 contractors surveyed feel that they don’t receive sufficient support from clients when it comes to their personal wellbeing.

What support from clients matters to you most?

2% Physical health & fitness

4% Community
& social life

6% Other

10% Financial

10% Intellectual

Professional support

Mental health & wellbeing

Industry focus

Dissecting the data further, there is a clear differentiation across industry. ‘Financial support’, was most popular amongst those working in Manufacturing, accounting for 18% of the vote. Of the contractors selecting ‘professional support’, making this the top answer, 47% were from the Government / Public Sector. The Manufacturing industry also took the top response again for ‘intellectual development’ with 20% of respondents selecting this. Transportation/logistics made up the majority of contractors citing ‘mental health and wellbeing’ with 25% coming from this industry.

The 6% that answered ‘other’ to this question responded with the below answers:

A recognition of the added challenges for working parents, especially with young children.

Recognition and respect from the team.


Collaborating and accessibility to people and resources to learn systems.

Flexible working hours to suit family commitments.

Personal check ins and connections. Not just doing business over email.

Because of the IR35 policy, many clients are now doing fixed term contracts with all 'the benefits' that a permanent employee would enjoy.

There's no recognition of the instability and risk that a contractor takes on, nor the gaps between contracts that inevitably pop up. Companies don't want to take the IR35 risk and are just doing 'blanket' inside decisions.

How important is receiving benefits and perks to you?




This is a good indication that businesses should be offering benefits/perks not just to your permanent team members but also to their contractors if you are wanting to get the best out of them.

Industry focus

The industry that felt the strongest about this was the Internet of Things with 57% selecting important/highly important for their response. Looking at the industry that felt this was unimportant/highly unimportant was E-Commerce which had 31% of respondents select this answer.

What benefits / perks matter most to you?

The benefits and perks that contractors feel matter most to them was very clear. Flexible working hours/remote work came out on top at 75%. According to a recent Talent report on the tech and digital hiring landscape, job seekers now have flexibility as their second biggest requirement from companies. COVID has put this into fast forward and it is not going away any time soon. This is even more of an indication that if businesses want to hire the best talent, they are going to need to offer flexibility when hiring. All industries listed this as their top benefit/perk.

Of the 5% that listed ‘other’, the common responses were:

Vehicle leasing.

Financial bonus.

Sick and annual leave pay.

Training and upskilling.

Advice for employers

Contractors are easy to find, but great contractors – the type that will exceed your expectations – are more difficult and often have multiple opportunities. Taking care of your contractors and solving their challenges for them will have tangible benefits for you, as satisfied contractors can in turn become long-term allies to your business, choosing to work with you again and again in true partnership.

Here are some ways to ensure working with you is a positive experience for IT contractors:

Think long term

Although contract assignments are relatively short if it’s a positive experience, we know that contractors will often return to the same client multiple times to work on updates or new projects.

Over a coffee

By immersing contractors into your company culture, whether that’s informal events, intranet platforms, suggestion boards, everyone can learn and gain fresh insights and ideas.

Bespoke EVP

Consider creating employer value propositions that talk directly to contractors working at your organisation, focus on purpose and the benefits for contractors and layer that over the detail around the project or assignment.

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