IT Worker Stress Levels Plummet

TEKsystems’ Annual Stress and Pride Survey Highlights Improved Work-Life Balance, Lessening of “Always-On” Expectations and High Job Satisfaction

TEKsystems’ third annual Stress and Pride survey points to a vast positive change in the stability of IT staffing environments. (Graphic: Business Wire)

HANOVER, Md.--()--TEKsystems®, a leading provider of IT staffing solutions, IT talent management expertise and IT services, today released the results of its third annual IT Stress and Pride survey which explores the levels of stress, expected accessibility and career pride experienced by IT professionals. Overall, the survey results point to a vast positive change in the stability of IT staffing environments as compared to a year ago.

The findings represent the views of over 1,000 IT professionals. Key highlights from the survey include:

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.
             

“I consider the work I am currently doing to be
the most stressful of my career.”

    2014     2015
Entry to Mid-Level Agree     30%     11%

Neither Agree Nor Disagree

    29%     26%
Disagree     41%     63%
Senior Level Agree     32%     13%

Neither Agree Nor Disagree

    26%     26%
Disagree     42%     61%
       
             

Has a stressful experience at work ever motivated you to seek
employment elsewhere?

    2014     2015
Entry to Mid-Level Yes     81%     51%
No     19%     49%
Senior Level Yes     65%     59%
No     35%     41%
       
             

Have you ever considered taking a new position that would equate
to a pay decrease in order to escape stress levels at work?

    2014     2015
Entry to Mid-Level Yes     69%     31%
No     31%     69%
Senior Level Yes     22%     47%
No     78%     53%
       
  • 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 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.
             
What is the MOST stressful part of being an IT professional?            
Entry to Mid-Level     2014     2015
Keeping up with technology     29%     41%
Keeping up with organizational requests/workload     30%     27%
Impact on work-life balance     23%     23%
Coordinating, interacting with co-workers/supervisors     18%     9%
Senior Level     2014     2015
Keeping up with technology     27%     30%
Keeping up with organizational requests/workload     32%     28%
Impact on work-life balance     24%     28%
Coordinating, interacting with co-workers/supervisors     17%     14%
       
  • 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 IT professionals say they are not expected to provide any availability, up from 74 percent that said the same in 2014.
                         

During a NORMAL WORK WEEK,
I’m expected to be accessible:

   

2014 Entry to
Mid-Level

   

2015 Entry to
Mid-Level

   

2014 Senior
Level

   

2015 Senior
Level

24/7 – No excuses     27%     15%     61%     13%
6 a.m. to Midnight     8%     4%     13%     5%
6 a.m. to 8 p.m.     17%     24%     14%     15%
8 a.m. to 6 p.m.     48%     57%     12%     67%
               
                         

When ON VACATION, I’m
expected to be accessible:

   

2014 Entry to
Mid-Level

   

2015 Entry to
Mid-Level

   

2014 Senior
Level

   

2015 Senior
Level

24/7 – No excuses     18%     6%     47%     5%
6 a.m. to Midnight     1%     1%     4%     2%
6 a.m. to 8 p.m.     2%     3%     11%     3%
8 a.m. to 6 p.m.     5%     5%     8%     7%
I’m not expected to be available     74%     85%     30%     83%
               
  • 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.
             

“I consider the work I am currently doing to be the most
satisfying of my career.”

    2014     2015

Entry to Mid-Level

Agree     39%     47%
Neither Agree Nor Disagree     29%     33%
Disagree     32%     20%

Senior Level

Agree     42%     45%
Neither Agree Nor Disagree     30%     33%
Disagree     28%     22%
       
             

Which of the following statements best describe your feelings regarding “career-pride”?

    2014     2015

Entry to
Mid-
Level

I am proud that I chose IT as a career AND I am proud of my current role, assignments and responsibilities.     58%     70%
I am proud that I chose IT as a career BUT I am NOT proud of my current role, assignments and responsibilities.     31%     27%
I am NOT proud that I chose IT as a career.     11%     3%

Senior
Level

I am proud that I chose IT as a career AND I am proud of my current role, assignments and responsibilities.     64%     81%
I am proud that I chose IT as a career BUT I am NOT proud of my current role, assignments and responsibilities.     29%     16%
I am NOT proud that I chose IT as a career.     7%     3%
       
             
If you could do it all over again, would you still go into IT?     2014     2015
Entry to Mid-Level Yes     76%     91%
No     24%     9%
Senior Level Yes     79%     85%
No     21%     15%
       
  • 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.

“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.”

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

About TEKsystems®

People are at the heart of every successful business initiative. At TEKsystems, we understand people. Every year we deploy over 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
Brendan Foerster, 410-540-7063
bfoerste@TEKsystems.com

Release Summary

TEKsystems today released the results of its third annual IT Stress and Pride survey, highlighting improved work-life balance, lessening of "always-on" expectations and high job satisfaction.

Contacts

TEKsystems
Brendan Foerster, 410-540-7063
bfoerste@TEKsystems.com