IT pros: cash or lifestyle?

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IT professionals are increasingly looking at flexible working conditions -- rather than just money -- when deciding on jobs, according to a recent survey.

Seventy-one percent of respondents to a poll conducted by recruitment firm Candle Australia said that they would take a pay cut for more flexible working arrangements or reduced hours.

Emma Stonham, marketing manager at Candle Australia, told iTnews that respondents were IT professionals.

"People are starting to want flexibility in their work environment," Stonham said. "People really appreciate having time."

She said it had been seeing this trend for a while in government, and it was now being picked up by the private sector. In comparison, there had been a decrease in perks such as cars, bonuses and gym memberships, according to Stonham.

"We are finding that there is no real difference between executives and support staff, and between people with children and no children," she said. "Increasingly people want to make improvements to their quality of life -- whether this means having more time to go to the gym, or spending it with the family."

Yet, flexible hours might not be an option for everyone. Grant Montgomery, managing director at search firm E.L Consult, warned that the trend wasn't nationwide. "If they've got work they're trying to milk it as hard as they can," Montgomery said.

However, he added that when it was a seller's market, and there were more IT jobs around, people make lifestyle choices a lot more readily.

Montgomery also said that because communications allowed IT professionals to work remotely, it allowed them to be more mobile and live in areas, such as outside cities, for lifestyle reasons.

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