Almost 70 percent of 'stressed' IT staff want to leave their job
Management is the biggest source of stress
By Antony Savvas | Computerworld UK | Published: 08:49, 28 April 2014
Research has revealed that 68 percent of IT staff are actively considering leaving their job due to job-related stress.
Despite improvements in the economy reducing budget pressures, the level of job dissatisfaction among UK IT professionals has reduced only slightly over 2013, when 73 percent of those surveyed reported they were actively looking to leave their current job due to stress.
The study was conducted by Opinion Matters among 200 UK IT administrators in companies of 10 or more people. The survey gauged respondents' stress levels at work and revealed their opinions on their main stressors, as well as how their stress level compares to that of friends and family, and how it affects their personal and professional lives.
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The survey found that 67 percent consider their job stressful - just one percent lower than in 2013, when similar research was carried out.
Over a third (36 percent) have missed social functions due to overrunning issues at work, and a further 36 percent reported missing time with their families due to work demands on their personal time.
In addition, 28 percent of IT staff regularly lose sleep over work pressures, and 19 percent have suffered stress-related illness - up on 2013 - while a further 15 percent complain of feeling in poor physical condition due to work demands.
And 17 percent of respondents have seen a relationship fail or be severely damaged due to their job. One quarter (24 percent) feel they are the most stressed person in their social or family group.
Management was clearly singled out as the biggest contributing factor to workplace stress, with half the respondents citing management as the biggest source of stress for them. A further 24 percent cited a lack of budget and staff to get the job done, a small improvement on 2013 and reflecting the improvement in the UK's job market.
Once again, IT staff frequently found themselves working additional hours over and above the 48-hour working week set down in the EU Working Time Directive, often without additional pay. On average, the IT workers surveyed would work six hours a week over and above their stated working hours, with 20 percent of respondents working between eight and 12 hours a week unpaid overtime.
The research was commissioned by IT solutions firm GFI Software. Sergio Galindo, general manager of the infrastructure business unit at GFI, said: "IT is renowned for being one of the most stressful white-collar jobs to undertake, now more so than ever given the critical role IT plays in everything from e-commerce to facilities management."
He said: "Providing realistic IT budgets and staffing levels helps a lot, but there are productivity changes that can also significantly de-stress the IT department, such as investing in technology to automate personnel-intensive activities like deploying software updates and managing sprawling WiFi networks, and the myriad of mobile devices that users are bringing to work."