What Contract IT Workers Miss About Being Full-Time

A survey of contract and freelance IT professionals shows healthcare and 401k plans are the most-missed perks of traditional employment, while there are many things they don't miss at all.

What would you miss most about "traditional," 9-to-5, office employment? According to a survey released today, the top three most-missed benefits and perks among independent IT pros are health insurance, brainstorming with colleagues, and 401K matching.

Surprisingly (or perhaps not), not many people missed the company holiday party or formal performance reviews, according to the survey, conducted by IT staffing and Workforce-as-a-Service firm OnForce, with 19 percent ranking formal performance reviews and 17 percent ranking the holiday party among the top two and three least missed aspects, respectively, according to the survey.

The Changing Face of IT

OnForce surveyed 1,337 anonymous, independent IT service professionals throughout the United States ranging in age from 21 to over 60, and found that 37 percent of respondents missed employee-provided health insurance, 30 percent listed brainstorming with colleagues as a benefit they missed, and 20 percent answered that they missed their former employers' 401k matching plans.

IT Careers

OnForce's CEO, Peter Cannone, says the results are in line with what he sees as the changing face of the current IT workforce, and that the results of the survey have broad implications outside the IT industry and beyond the pool of independent IT professionals.

"When you consider that 50 percent of today's workforce will join the ranks of the self-employed by the year 2020, and that 60 percent of IT service professionals willingly left full-time jobs to be their own boss, it's important for companies to understand the current needs of full-time and contract employees if they want to remain competitive," Cannone says, citing research obtained by OnForce.

The survey also revealed that different age groups are concerned with different benefits and perks. Of the 37 percent of respondents that ranked health insurance as the most missed benefit, most fell into the 40-49 year age bracket, while 10 percent are aged 50-59, 9 percent are aged 30-39, 3 percent are aged 21-29 and over 60 years of age.

While health insurance and 401K plans are still a top priority among the workforce, the survey also showed that social and professional development in the workplace are extremely important, especially to those that fall between ages 40 and 49. Yet, according to the survey, that same demographic rated the company holiday party and formal performance reviews one of the least-missed aspects of 'traditional' work life.

But there's one aspect of traditional, full-time employment that remains almost universally reviled, regardless of demographic: commuting; 38 percent of all respondents, regardless of age group, cited this as their least-missed aspect of 'traditional' employment. You can see more about the survey here.

Sharon Florentine covers IT careers and data center topics for CIO.com. Follow Sharon on Twitter @MyShar0na. Email her at sflorentine@cio.com Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter @CIOonline and on Facebook.

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