Two-thirds of British IT staff looking to change job due to stress

IT Services

by Jimmy Nicholls| 06 May 2014

Half say management is the cause, with a lack of budget or staff also a major headache.

Two-thirds of British IT staff are considering changing jobs because of stress, according to a survey conducted by Opinion Matters on behalf of GFI Software.

Though the 68% looking to leave is lower than the 73% who said the same in last year's IT Admin Stress Survey, there remains a host of problems associated with the job, with half of IT professionals saying management was the greatest source of stress for them.

Sergio Galindo, a general manager at GFI Software, said: "IT is renowned for being one of the most stressful white-collar jobs to undertake, now more so than ever given the critical role IT plays in everything from ecommerce to facilities management."

28% of staff had lost sleep because of stress, whilst a third had missed social functions and time with their family because of work demands. A quarter also believed themselves to be more stressed than any of their friends or family, with 17% saying their job had damaged or ended a relationship.

A quarter of staff complained that they lacked the staff or budget to do what was required of them, though this was a slight improvement on last year's survey. On average, IT staff worked six hours a week more than contracted, with a fifth claiming to work eight to 12 hours unpaid overtime every week, sometimes in contravention of the EU's Working Time Directive.

"Providing realistic IT budgets and staffing levels helps a lot," Galindo added. "But there are productivity changes that can also significantly de-stress the IT department, such as investing in technology to automate personnel-intensive activities like deploying software updates and managing sprawling Wi-Fi networks and the myriad of mobile devices that users are bringing to work."

As part of the survey, IT staff were asked to relay the most bizarre requests they had received while working. Among the best responses was a "User [who] complained there was a ghost in her PC when IT staff remote connected to it to resolve an issue".

The most popular complaint to IT, claiming the title for the third year in a row, was that of a user wondering why a computer or printer was not working even when it had not been switched on.

Two hundred British computer administrators were questioned for the survey, with respondents working in companies of ten or more people.

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