TEKsystems: IT Professionals Proclaim Vacation Independence

Data Indicates Majority of IT Workers Unplug During Vacations, While Interruptions Cause Strife With Family and Friends

HANOVER, Md.--()--In advance of Independence Day, TEKsystems®, a leading provider of IT staffing solutions and IT services, today highlighted recent survey results revealing that the majority of IT employees completely unplug during vacations and are not expected to be available. The results also uncover that entry- and mid-level IT staff have less opportunity to manage their workloads in order to plan vacations during off-peak times in comparison with senior-level IT staff.

Key highlights from the survey include:

Nearly Half of IT Workers Don’t Monitor Work Activities; Vast Majority Not Expected to be Available During Vacation

         

When on vacation…:

 

Entry- and Mid-
Level Employees

 

Senior-Level
Employees

I do NOT monitor my work-related communications/activities   46%   45%
I DO monitor my work-related communications/activities but do NOT respond   10%   9%
I DO monitor my work-related communications/activities, but ONLY respond to critical requests and emergencies   40%   44%
I perform most of my regular job role responsibilities   4%   2%
         
When on vacation, I’m expected to be accessible:  

Entry- and Mid-
Level Employees

 

Senior-Level
Employees

24/7 – No excuses   6%   1%
6 a.m. to midnight   1%   2%
6 a.m. to 8 p.m.   2%   2%
8 a.m. to 6 p.m.   7%   8%
I’m not expected to be available   84%   87%
         
I experience less stress if I stay in touch with my office/work while away on vacation:  

Entry- and Mid-
Level Employees

 

Senior-Level
Employees

Agree   23%   22%
Neither agree nor disagree   32%   29%
Disagree   45%   49%
   
  • TEKsystems’ Take: The fact that the majority of IT employees either don’t monitor or don’t respond to activities/communications while on vacation is logical, given that over 80 percent are not expected to be available while vacationing. It’s also important to note that less than one-quarter of IT employees feel that staying in touch with the office during vacation does not lead to any real benefits (i.e., less stress). More IT employees are not engaging with work during vacation because they are simply not expected to and because doing so does not deliver great advantages. IT hiring managers and executive management need to recognize that the ability to truly be ‘on vacation’ is no longer a perk for IT employees—it is an expected benefit. IT leaders should consider IT employee vacation schedules when planning major initiatives and overall workflow projections.

Senior IT Staff Have Greater Expectations and Ability to Schedule Vacation Around Work Loads

         
Do you time your vacation to align with periods of expected lighter activity at work?  

Entry- and Mid-
Level Employees

 

Senior-Level
Employees

Yes   40%   53%
No   29%   25%
Not applicable, I’m always busy   31%   22%
         
Do you think a real vacation—where you totally unplug—is possible anymore?  

Entry- and Mid-
Level Employees

 

Senior-Level
Employees

Yes, absolutely   50%   56%
It’s possible, but all the stars need to align   39%   35%
It’s not possible, I am ALWAYS connected   11%   9%
   
  • TEKsystems’ Take: The data indicates that a majority of senior IT employees have greater ability to time vacations to downtime and also feel that it is still possible to have a real vacation—one where they are totally unplugged. The questions about vacation timing and totally unplugging to experience a real vacation reveal an interesting dichotomy between senior-level and entry- and mid-level IT employees: a higher number of entry- and mid-level IT employees say they can’t plan vacations for off-peak times because they are always busy. Similarly, a higher number of them feel a real vacation is not possible because they are always connected. Due to the forward-looking nature of senior IT staff roles, they may have an advantage of being able to determine periods of lessened activity well ahead of time and plan vacations during those times. Conversely, since they are more responsible for day-to-day operational and maintenance roles, entry- and mid-level IT staff may not have as much of an opportunity to plan vacations for off-peak times.

About One-Quarter of IT Employees Conceal Work Activity During Vacations; Senior IT Staff More Likely to Experience Friction from Work Interruptions

         
When on vacation…: (percent answering “yes”)  

Entry- and Mid-
Level Employees

 

Senior-Level
Employees

Has excusing yourself from an activity to address work-related issues ever caused conflict/friction with your traveling companions/family members?   34%   41%
Have you ever concealed partaking in work-related activities from traveling companions / family members?   25%   22%
   
  • TEKsystems’ Take: A significant number, 41 percent, of senior IT staff have experienced friction with family/friends because they have had to address work-related issues during vacation. Since almost half (49 percent) believe there is no benefit to being plugged-in during vacation—and 87 percent are not expected to be available during vacation—the fact that a relatively high number of senior IT staff have had work interfere with their vacations may lead to increasing levels of dissatisfaction. It is also interesting to note that while entry- and mid-level IT staff have less of an opportunity to plan vacations during off-peak times and are more likely to be “always busy,” they are less likely to be interrupted by work activities during vacation. About one-quarter of each group is equally as likely to conceal work-related activities from vacation partners.

“It’s clear that a high number of IT pros believe they can unplug and enjoy their vacation; however, it’s evident that senior IT employees have a greater ability to time their vacations for periods of reduced activity, which may contribute to the ability to truly unplug and enjoy a ‘real’ vacation,” said Jason Hayman, research analyst for TEKsystems. “What entry- and mid-level IT employees give up because of a reduced ability to optimally plan a vacation may be made up for by the fact that they are less likely to be interrupted by work responsibilities during their time off. The bottom line is that more IT employees expect to be able to unplug and unwind during vacations, and the inability to do so, regardless of the reason, could lead to increasing levels of dissatisfaction.”

Methodology: TEKsystems conducted an online survey of more than 800 North American IT professionals in April 2017. Respondents were broken into two groups, Senior-Level (titles included Manager or Director), and Entry-and Mid Level (team member titles), and spanned a multitude of industries, such as IT, financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, government, retail and energy. Respondents also represented a wide range of company sizes, from less than $50 million to more than $10 billion in revenue.

TEKsystems’ Jason Hayman is available for additional commentary. For more information about the survey, or to schedule an interview, please contact Nathan Bowen at nabowen@TEKsystems.com.

About TEKsystems®

People are at the heart of every successful business initiative. At TEKsystems, an Allegis Group company, we understand people. Every year we deploy more than 80,000 IT professionals at 6,000 client sites across North America, Europe and Asia. Our deep insights into IT human capital management enable us to help our clients achieve their business goals–while optimizing their IT workforce strategies. We provide IT staffing solutions, IT talent management expertise and IT services to help our clients plan, build and run their critical business initiatives. Through our range of quality-focused delivery models, we meet our clients where they are, and take them where they want to go, the way they want to get there.

TEKsystems. Our people make IT possible.

Contacts

TEKsystems
Nathan Bowen, 410-540-3090
nabowen@teksystems.com

Release Summary

TEKsystems: IT Professionals Proclaim Vacation Independence

Contacts

TEKsystems
Nathan Bowen, 410-540-3090
nabowen@teksystems.com