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7 Reasons to Seek Onsite Contract Work

Contract work is finally coming into its own. Once considered second choice to a permanent full-time job, many workers are choosing to work on a contract basis for a variety of reasons. The number of independent workers has increased tremendously – 69% since the beginning of the pandemic, according to MBO Partners. An uncertain economy has also increased the number of employers looking for contract employees. In a January 2023 survey of 1,000 employers, reported that one third (37%) of companies with recent layoffs said they are hiring contractors as replacements. Over half (53%) asked full-time employees to move to a contract position. 

The other trend impacting the workforce is a push “back to the office.” Although remote work became the norm during COVID, with lower infection rates and higher vaccinations many employers are moving to a hybrid working arrangement, for example, a 3/2 schedule (3 days in the office and two days at home). Some are requiring employees to be onsite full-time and 88% are offering incentives including catered meals, commuter benefits and higher pay.

As a worker, these two trends – the rise in contract work and the return to office – provide interesting opportunities. Here are 7 reasons to seek onsite contract positions.

1.    Higher Pay & More Opportunities

Because many workers today wish to work remotely the competition on a national level is fierce. Consequently, onsite contract roles have fewer applicants. These jobs may also offer an opportunity for higher pay than you’d get in a full-time salary. Skilled employees can charge by the hour or project and push the rates up especially during inflation. If the contract goes well, contractors can negotiate for more money since the employer already knows the quality of the work.

2.    Get Your Foot in the Door 

Being in the office offers chances to meet more people face-to-face, like executives and managers. It gives the contract employee more exposure which increases the possibility of more work or even a permanent position. It also gives employers the ability to try out an employee before hiring, almost like a probation period. Many contractors get an extension of their contract when things go well if not in one department than in another that has the budget. Being there in person increases the likelihood of this occurring. 

3.    Diverse Work Experience

Working onsite also allows you to tryout different industries and companies. You can explore and get diverse work experience while not making a commitment to one employer. As a contractor you can often get work inside big-name companies where it might be difficult to obtain a full-time job. This is because many employers are hesitant to increase overhead in this economy – but they still have work that must get done. Because staffing agencies have relationships with well-known and Fortune 500 companies, they know when a permanent position is available before it is publicly posted. Having onsite experience at that company will make you stand out from other applicants. And it will look great on your resume.

4.    Test Out the Company Culture

Working an onsite contract gives you a chance to see if you like the company. You can experience the company culture first-hand for better or worse. If it’s not a good fit, you’ve got the comfort of knowing there’s an end-date, but you still got the experience on your resume.

5.    Collaboration & Community

No matter what technology you’re using, it’s just easier to collaborate with colleagues when you work face-to-face. In Envoy’s At Work survey, over three-quarters (76%) of onsite workers reported that being in the office was good for their mental well-being. Most leaders (94%) and employees (84%) agreed that being in the office provides a sense of workplace community. This lack of community was difficult for many people working remotely during the pandemic. Working on a team is also important. According to the ADP Research Institute’s Global Workplace Study 2022, team members are 2.9 times more likely to report high engagement and nearly three times more likely to demonstrate workplace resilience than employees who don’t work on teams.

6.    Better work-life balance

The changes brought on by the pandemic have created a different attitude toward work for many workers. Many want more flexibility to better balance work and personal lives. Contract roles give you greater control over hours worked onsite. According to a study by Ergotron, 40% of employees work longer hours at home than when in the office. Working onsite gives clearer definition between home and work, creating a real separation that results in more quality time in your off time. 

7.    More Recognition

Being onsite is also more likely to get your work acknowledged by managers. In Envoy’s survey, 96% of leaders admitted that they recognize the contributions of workers in the office more often than those working from home, also called proximity bias. This can lead to more work and opportunities to gain new skills.

Contract work offers many opportunities, especially if it’s done onsite. The freedom to do interesting work, try out new companies and industries, learn new skills, create a larger professional network and earn more money are all potential outcomes.

Photo Credit: Canva

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