IT pros don’t feel much stress, but will bolt if they do

stressed with results

There’s a lot of talk about how stressful work in IT could be. But a recent survey finds those at the top of their departments are overall pretty satisfied with their work.

The survey by TEKsystems looks at job satisfaction and stress levels among entry- to mid-level IT pros and those at the top of of the chain. It found that regardless of job level, IT pros feel like they’ve made a good career decision and are actually not as overwhelmed by their jobs as some studies indicate.

Maybe the best news from these findings is that most who are in IT would be happy to stay in the field. Ninety-seven percent of entry-level and mid-level employees said they’re proud to work in IT. Ninety-nine percent of senior-level employees said the same. So regardless of stress, it seems to be a rewarding field.

Less-stressful time

According to the survey, 65% of senior level IT pros said they are not in the most stressful time of their careers. And although there’s a lot of talk about the “always-on” culture of IT, fewer than one-in-five survey respondents (19%) said they’re expected to be available “24-7, no excuses.”

That’s a significant number, to be sure. And it’s possible that others aren’t actually expected to be on duty all the time, but choose to respond to issues as they come up rather than during regular hours.

The biggest single cause of stress under the top brass was keeping up with organizational requests and workload at 39%. Other stresses included impacts on work-life balance (35%) and keeping up with technology (20%).

Downtime is often uninterrupted

Vacation time gets a lot of attention for IT pros. Most don’t take all they’re allotted. Some say they can barely get out of the office at all.

But according to this survey, there is some good news. While for an unfortunate few (13%) being on vacation doesn’t excuse them from 24-7 availability, the vast majority (78%) report they’re not expected to be available on vacation days.

That said, only 42% actually follow through with those expectations by not doing any work at all. Fifty-six percent said they respond to critical or emergency requests.

And 2% seemed confused by the concept of vacation days: They said they perform most of their normal job duties while on vacation.

Beware: Stress will drive workers away

If you’re an IT pro reading this and thinking “Well this all sounds pretty good,” here’s a warning.

One of the quickest ways to find yourself stressed out is by being short-staffed. And if your workers are feeling overwhelmed, the study finds they have absolutely no problem moving on to new opportunities.

The survey found 57% of employees have considered leaving their jobs over a stressful situation. And 41% would even take a pay cut to do so.

They’re not shy about their prospects, either. Sixty-nine percent are optimistic about their job prospects.

If you’re looking to hang onto employees, decreasing or maintaining stress levels is important. Try to make sure:

  • time spent away on vacation is actually free from checking in with the office (except in emergencies if necessary)
  • flex scheduling and work from homes are allowed if possible to keep staff from getting overwhelmed, and
  • succession plans are in place so that an employee giving notice doesn’t have a trickle-down effect of stressing out the rest of your department.

Make Smarter Tech Decisions

Get the latest IT news, trends, and insights - delivered weekly.

Privacy Policy