More workers than ever before are leaving permanent full-time employment and seeking out temporary, contract and freelance work that allows them to set their own terms and have more control over when they work, where they work and what they do. The EY 2022 Work Reimagined Survey* gathered insights across multiple industries from over 17,000 employees and 1,575 employers in 22 countries in April this year. 43% said it was likely they would leave their current employer in the next 12 months. McKinsey, in a March report**, identified that this attrition we are seeing is not just workers leaving for another permanent role elsewhere. The extreme circumstances they have been operating in throughout the pandemic have left them wanting more balance, more options and more flexibility. The traditional model of employment just isn’t working for a lot of people in the wake of Covid.
Previous employee concerns around income insecurity, and how employers might perceive ‘job-hopping’, are now less of an obstacle to moving to different forms of employment. Employers are embracing short-term workers in increasing numbers, and there are obvious advantages to taking on short-term employees, including long-term cost-savings, efficiencies, bringing new skills into the business as they are needed and filling urgent needs to cover periods of absence such as long-service leave or parental leave.
But what are the advantages to the workers themselves and why has this way of working become more attractive? Let’s explore the benefits of temporary and contract work in our post-pandemic working landscape.
There are many situations where a ‘try before you buy’ approach is beneficial. Maybe you are in the early stages of your career and trying to work out where your passions lie and where your skills are best utilised? Perhaps you are considering a return to work from extended leave and thinking about a change, or a shift from your existing role to a new industry?
Whatever your circumstance or career stage, it can be highly advantageous to see how a company, type of role or industry fits before committing. You might even look at doing this before signing up to study for a new qualification, to make sure you’re investing in a career direction that is the right fit. Whether the temporary role you undertake is an exact match for what you’re considering long-term, or a support role in the type of industry or company you are looking to join, exposure to the new environment can answer questions around cultural fit, competency and job satisfaction. There is also the benefit of exposure to others who work in that company/industry/role who can share with you first-hand their experiences.
Working on multiple short-term roles can be great for building your professional network. Whatever your career goals your network can be key to accessing new opportunities and to getting support and advice in your career. A strong and varied professional network will help you immensely when looking for future positions, whether you are seeking out more temporary positions or a permanent role.
One of the key drivers of the growth of the gig economy has been the desire for flexibility. Having more control over where, how and when you work can be advantageous in so many situations, particularly if you are juggling multiple responsibilities.
For someone looking after young children or elderly parents on a part-time basis, temporary contracts allow you to pick and choose the days that suit you to balance your other commitments. It also means you can pull out of the role at short notice if circumstances change. If you are starting your own business, temporary and contract work can allow you to maintain an income whilst also continuing to further your own project.
Building your skill set can make you more attractive to potential employers long term, whether it’s deeper knowledge in one particular area or the addition of several new skills that diversifies your ability. When you are regularly meeting and building relationships with new people your confidence will grow, another asset that can enhance your future career prospects. You will also become more resilient and agile through regularly adapting to different work environments, processes and teams.
Fill in the gaps
Redundancy, or the end of a long-term contract, might mean a period of unemployment whilst you look for something else. Temping and short-term contracts can plug the gap so you maintain an income and keep your skills up to date while you are looking. This also takes the time pressure off to ensure you make the right decision if you’re looking for a permanent role.
Get a foot in the door
Temp to perm opportunities can be a great option if you are looking to join a particular company and need a foot in the door. A temporary role is a valuable opportunity to prove your character, work ethic and what you can bring to the organisation. Even if the role itself does not become permanent you are in a stronger position to apply for another role when one comes up and as a candidate with a proven track record within the business you put yourself in a strong position.
Get maximum value for the time you invest
As a temporary worker you are paid for every hour you work rather than as an annual salary, where hours can vary, and in some organisations more than others. You are maximising the value you are getting in return for your time, plus it is easier to commit to other projects in tandem with your temporary role when your hours are fixed.
If you’re looking for more flexibility, to build skills or to transition into a new career, talk to Reo Group’s specialist temp team who can help you with information on how temping with Reo works and what you need to do to get started.
Get in touch with one of our team at email@example.com for more details.