Independent contractors are a committed workforce that understands the value of time and avoid distractions, according to new research.
A study by researchers from Monash University into the attitudes and experiences of white collar contractors - also known as Independent Professionals (IPros) - has found that IPros are productive and focused workers who understand what their clients want, don't waste time on distractions and are committed to adhering to agreed work schedules.
The research found about two-thirds of IPros experienced a sense of commitment to their current client while almost 75 per cent believed their employers cared about their opinions and that their employer was available to help them, should they need it.
These are among the major findings of the 2012 IPro Index, part of an ongoing research project into the attitudes, issues and trends of white collar contractors conducted by Dr Tui McKeown from the University's Department of Management.
Dr McKeown said the results validated the accuracy of prior years' results as well as demonstrating a consistency in the profile of IPros over time.
"While IPros are a diverse group, what is emerging is a clear picture of IPros as enthusiastic, immersed people who are happy at their work," Dr McKeown said.
"They are clearly an organisational asset that should be recognised for the value they offer and the skills they bring – organisations who relegate them to being ignored, hidden or forgotten are quite simply missing out."
Dr McKeown's research, supported by Entity Solutions, also found that far from being disinterested participants, the vast majority of IPros were committed to their clients' interests and were determined to meet client quality standards and timeframes. IPros felt they were productive contributors to their client organisations and considered themselves trustworthy, professional, efficient and effective in their client dealings.
"For the fourth consecutive year, we found positive increases in attitudes towards the IPro lifestyle, commitment to clients, perceived support from clients and in IPro responses to current business trends," Dr McKeown said.
"Consistent with 2011 results, the highest attitudinal score was for wellbeing, which measures engagement in work, entrepreneurship and belief in oneself."
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