According to a new report from TEKsystems, a leading provider of IT staffing solutions, the tech industry has seen a vast improvement in the IT working environment over the past year. Stress levels are down significantly from the last few years, and IT staff appear to be on top of their workloads and finally able to take some well deserved, and uninterrupted, downtime. Additionally, IT staff reported a renewed pride in their work and growing responsibility. Overall, the survey results point to a vast positive change in the stability of IT staffing environments as compared to a year ago.
“This year certainly paints a much rosier picture than last year — we’ve seen a significant drop in stress and a positive swing in pride and satisfaction,” said TEKsystems Research Manager Jason Hayman. “While it’s encouraging, organizations still need to ensure that their talent management and workforce strategies are aligned to avoid overworked staff, unrealistic workloads or internal discord if they want to continue this positive momentum.”
The findings represent the views of over 1,000 IT professionals. Key highlights are featured in this slideshow.
A More Balanced IT Work Environment
Click through for key findings from a survey conducted by TEKsystems on IT staffing stress, work-life balance and overall satisfaction.
Stress Levels Plunge
Stress Levels Plunge; IT Professionals Less Motivated to Seek Employment Elsewhere
Eleven percent of entry- to mid-level IT professionals and 13 percent of senior IT professionals consider the work they are currently doing to be the most stressful of their career, a significant decrease from the 30 percent and 32 percent respectively that said the same in 2014. This reduction seems to have led to a situation where fewer professionals feel that stress would cause them to seek alternative employment or consider less compensation to escape stress.
TEKsystems’ Take: There has been a steep decrease in IT professionals’ stress levels since 2014. This may have led them to reflect upon the impact of past work stress from a more positive perspective, with fewer now indicating that a stressful work situation would lead them to switch jobs or take a pay cut in order to avoid their stressors.
Keeping Up With Technology
Keeping Up With Technology More Stressful Than Managing Workloads
Forty-one percent of entry- to mid-level IT professionals consider keeping up with technological advancements to be the most stressful part of their career, up significantly from the 29 percent that said the same in 2014. Meanwhile, just 9 percent feel the same about coordinating and interacting with co-workers and supervisors, down from 18 percent in 2014. Comparatively, senior-level IT shows little change from 2014.
TEKsystems’ Take: Keeping up with technology crept ahead of workload as the top stressor as compared to last year, indicating that departments now feel that they are doing a better job of distributing the workload amongst staff members. This may have also had the trickle-down effect of lessening the stress related to interacting with co-workers, which was a bigger stressor when staff had heavier workloads.
Senior IT Professionals’ Downtime No Longer Abused During Vacation; IT Professionals Experiencing Improved Work-Life Balance
Just 13 percent of senior-level IT professionals say they feel obligated to be accessible 24/7 during a normal work week in 2015, a significant drop from the 61 percent that said the same the previous year. When on vacation, 83 percent of senior-level IT professionals say they are not expected to provide any availability, up considerably from the 30 percent that said the same in 2014. Entry- to mid-level IT professionals have also seen shifting obligations with just 15 percent feeling the need to provide 24/7 accessibility during a normal work week, down from 27 percent in 2014. Additionally, when on vacation, 85 percent of entry- to mid-level level IT professionals say they are not expected to provide any availability, up from 74 percent that said the same in 2014.
TEKsystems’ Take: In response to retention challenges in previous years, organizations have made adjustments to ensure that both senior-level and entry- to mid-level IT professionals are better able to achieve a more satisfactory work-life balance, and have shifted their expectations for when staff should be accessible outside normal working hours. Senior IT professionals are especially well positioned to take their vacation time and avoid burnout. This also contributes to higher levels of job satisfaction that can help organizations avoid debilitating staff turnover.
Vast Majority of IT Professionals Are Satisfied With Their Choice of Career
Nearly half of entry- to mid-level (47 percent) and senior-level (45 percent) IT professionals consider their current work to be the most satisfying of their career, an increase over 2014 levels (39 and 42 percent, respectively). In fact, 70 percent of entry- to mid-level and 81 percent of senior-level IT professionals say they are currently proud of their career in IT and are proud of their current role, assignments and responsibilities, with 91 percent and 85 percent, respectively, indicating that they would go into IT again if given the chance to do things differently.
TEKsystems’ Take: As stress levels decrease, IT workers are more likely to be content with their current positions and do not feel as though their talents are being stretched thin — or misaligned to inappropriate tasks — to make up for organizational deficiencies. Both groups are overwhelmingly happy with their choice to pursue a career in IT and nurturing this pride will help ensure that employees are productive and committed to working for their company long term.