The latest survey of the UK’s contractor community by contractor accounting firm SJD Accountancy reveals that a growing majority consider contracting a positive career move that has improved their work-life balance.

The latest twice-yearly poll was conducted in December. Since the previous survey in July 2012, the number of contractors stating that their work-life balance had improved since they began contracting grew from 57% to 70%, which is a hike of 13 points. The number saying that it had deteriorated fell by 7 points to just 11%.

Almost three quarters (74%) reported that their pay rates had either increased or remained unchanged since July and 21% said that rates had fallen, which was 9% fewer than in the previous poll. A big majority (86%) had seen their most recent contract extended, which is 3% more than in July.

Those feeling positive about contracting grew by 6%, with the overall findings suggesting that the majority of contractors feel buoyant about their switch from salaried employment – 79% cent said contracting was more satisfying – and are optimistic about pay rates and finding work. 29% reported that their contracts would extend for a year or more, up 5 points from July’s 24%.

A statement from SJD Accountancy said: “Continuing with the way in which contracting affects work/life balance, we were delighted to see that this figure jumped from 57% who stated ‘positive’ in the last survey to a very healthy 70% now, well over two-thirds.”

The survey also suggests that almost two-thirds of respondents found securing their current contract relatively easy.

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