IT staff are more stressed at work than last year, shows annual UK research

GFI Software survey reveals a large jump in the number of IT professionals feeling both the impact of job-related stress and a desire to quit their current job due to stress

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UK IT staff are suffering from increased stress levels, with many wanting to quit their job according to research.

IT monitoring software firm GFI Software has released the findings of its fourth-annual independent IT Admin Stress Survey, revealing a large jump in the number of IT professionals feeling both the impact of job-related stress and a desire to quit their current job due to stress.

The study found that 88 percent of those independently surveyed are experiencing workplace stress, while almost 90 percent of respondents are actively considering leaving their current IT job due to stress and dissatisfaction with working conditions - up from 68 percent in 2014.

For the fourth year running, high workplace stress levels for IT professionals are dramatically impacting both employees and employers. These impacts are illustrated by increases in those staff looking to find another job, and in those working increasing amounts of unpaid overtime to cope with workloads. A growing number of IT staff are also experiencing substantial disruption to their personal lives as a result of work demands.

The study was conducted by Opinion Matters among 205 UK IT administrators in companies of 10 or more people. The survey gauged respondents’ stress levels at work and revealed their opinions on their main “stressors”, as well as how their stress level compares to that of friends and family and how it affects their personal and professional lives.

Key findings include 88 percent consider their job stressful – up from 67 percent in 2014, and nearly half (47 percent) have missed social functions due to overrunning issues and tight deadlines at work, up from 36 percent in 2014.

A further 37 percent also report missing time with their children due to work demands imposing on their personal time, and nearly one third (32 percent) of IT staff regularly lose sleep due to work pressures. The number of respondents experiencing stress-related illnesses decreased slightly to 17 percent, down from 19 percent in 2014. Nonetheless, a further 15 percent continue to report feeling in poor physical condition due to work demands, the same as last year.

Pressure and unreasonable demands from management clearly emerged as the biggest contributing factor to workplace stress, but was down considerably from last year. In 2015, one third (33 percent) of those surveyed singled out management as their biggest point of stress, down from over 50 percent last year.

Up considerably on last year was stress caused by the users that IT staff look after, jumping from 11 percent to 21 percent.

Sergio Galindo, general manager of GFI Software, said: “Even in an industry like IT that’s well-known for being extremely stressful and highly demanding of its workforce, the findings of this year’s IT Stress Survey makes for worrying reading. The 2015 results clearly show a substantial deterioration of the work/life balance and job satisfaction among the UK’s IT workforce.

“This is concerning reading at a time when the IT sector is playing such a pivotal role in the growth of the UK economy.”  

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