ICT staff ‘losing sleep’ over work pressures

More than two thirds of ICT staff are considering quitting their job due to stress, according to a new survey.

The findings from GFI Software found that high levels of work stress are contributing to job dissatisfaction among the UK’s ICT profession.

However, stress levels have dropped slightly from last year – only 68 per cent are actively considering leaving their job compared to 73 per cent previously.

Sergio Galindo, general manager of the infrastructure business unit at GFI Software, said:  “ICT 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,” said.

The survey also found that more than a third of those surveyed had missed social functions due to overrunning issues at work.

A further 36% also reported missing time with their families due to work demands on their personal time.

28% of IT staff regularly lose sleep over work pressures, while 19% have suffered stress-related illness, up from 2013. A further 15% complained of feeling in poor physical condition due to work demands.

And 16.5% of respondents said they had a relationship fail or be severely damaged due to their job.

Management was identified as the biggest contributing factor to workplace stress, with half the sample of IT professionals surveyed citing management as the biggest source of stress for them.

A further 24% cited a lack of budget and staff to get the job done, a small improvement on 2013.

On average, the IT workers surveyed worked six hours a week over and above their stated working hours, with 20% of the survey sample working between eight and 12 hours a week unpaid overtime.

Nottingham is the city with the most stressed IT staff – with 83% of those surveyed stressed at work. This contrasts with Edinburgh – the least stressed with a figure of only 30%

Galindo said: “There is a lot that organisations can do to reduce the burden – and with it the stress levels – carried by IT staff.

“Providing realistic IT budgets and staffing levels helps a lot, 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.”

Colin Marrs

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