How IT Admins Are Being Driven Crazy by Office Workers

Don Tennant
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Six Critical Questions to Ask a Potential Service Desk Partner

If you’re an IT administrator, it probably won’t come as a shock to you that a recent survey found that many IT admins get frustrated, angry and discouraged when dealing with the bad behaviors of end users—so much so that a lot of them have been driven to consider quitting their jobs.

The survey, an IT admin behavioral study, was conducted in March by TeamViewer, a Germany-based provider of remote-control and online meeting software. According to a TeamViewer spokesperson, the survey was fielded in March among 300 IT administrators in the United States, and was aimed at determining their experiences with some of the common behaviors of office workers and how those behaviors have affected not only the administrators, but the company’s bottom line. The survey found that 92 percent of IT admins reported seeing troublesome habits among office workers using company computers. The most common of these behaviors were:

  • Browsing social media websites – 82 percent
  • Opening inappropriate email attachments – 57 percent
  • Downloading games – 52 percent
  • Plugging in unauthorized USB devices – 51 percent
  • Plugging in unauthorized personal devices – 50 percent
  • Illegal downloads (e.g., pirating movies, music or software) – 45 percent
  • Looking for other jobs – 39 percent 

Ninety percent of IT administrators said they’ve witnessed problems affecting company equipment because of these actions, including:

  • Viruses – 77 percent
  • Slow computers – 74 percent
  • Crashed computers – 55 percent
  • Mass pop-ups – 48 percent
  • Inability to open email – 33 percent 

The survey also identified a number of inefficiencies. For example, 23 percent of IT workers are putting in between 10 and 20 extra hours in a given week, with 4 percent saying the problems caused by end users have caused them to work more than 40 extra hours in a week. Forty-one percent of IT administrators estimate that they walk between one and nine miles in a given month, traveling from desk-to-desk and floor-to-floor to perform their daily tasks.  

Negative emotions felt among IT administrators stemming from the bad habits of office workers include frustration (70 percent), anger (60 percent) and discouragement (32 percent). Twelve percent said these bad habits have made them feel like they wanted to quit their jobs. Ninety-four percent of IT admins said things can be done to help mitigate these problems and make their jobs easier, including: 

  • Better security software – 66 percent
  • Using remote access software to fix problems – 47 percent
  • Disk cleanup software – 44 percent
  • Automatic backup solutions – 40 percent
  • The ability to telecommute – 29 percent

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