The members of the IT team are often the unsung heroes of the professional world. National IT Professionals Day is celebrated annually on the third Tuesday of September. This year, it falls on Sept. 15.
When most people think about stressful jobs, they might think of doctors, lawyers or even retail employees. But what about IT professionals?
A high-stress job
GFI Software, a technology company headquartered in North Carolina, has conducted a survey among IT administrators in both the United States and the United Kingdom over the last three years. The study examined the respondents’ stress levels as well as how this stress influences both their personal and professional lives.
According to the survey, nearly 80 percent of IT staff members are actively considering leaving their current position due to job-related stress. Despite improvement in the economy, the level of job dissatisfaction in the IT community has grown since 2013, when only 57 percent of those surveyed reported that they were actively seeking to leave their current job.
How their personal lives are affected
The stress experienced by IT professionals has also been found to influence their personal lives. Here are some of the ways their personal lives are affected:
More than one-third (38 percent) of IT staff members have missed social functions because of the demands of the job
A significant population of IT professionals (35 percent) also report missing time with their families
One-third of IT staff members regularly lose sleep over work pressures
One-quarter report stress-related illnesses
Another quarter of respondents have had a relationship that was severely damaged or that failed due to the stresses inherent in their job
What causes these high stress levels? IT staff members frequently work overtime without additional pay – on average, IT professionals work an additional 8.5 hours per week more than their stated working hours. The technical issues that IT professionals face are often too complex to be completed within a reasonable period of time.
One of the more amusing parts of the survey required respondents to disclose the most absurd IT calls they have received in their career. Here are only a few examples:
“I asked a user to open Windows – they took it literally.”
“A user jacked up his car and used his company laptop as a wheel support. It did not work.”
“User complained there was a ghost in her PC when IT staff remote connected to it to resolve an issue.”
The news for IT professionals isn’t all glum, however – employees who work at larger companies (with more than 500 employees) are considerably happier than their peers at small companies. Unfortunately, 60 percent of these employees are also looking to leave their current position to find a less stressful job.
Just say ‘thank you’
The moral of this article? Thank your IT team members. They keep the company up and running, and make everyone’s lives a little easier. Share #ITProfessionalsDay on social media to increase awareness for this national holiday.
Written by Courtney Lopresti, M.S. neuroscience, Sovereign Health Group writer