Nearly one-third (31 percent) of IT professionals say the work they are currently doing is the most stressful of their career, according to TEKsystems’ second annual IT Stress & Pride Survey, which explores the levels of stress, expected accessibility and career pride experienced by IT professionals.
The survey indicated feelings of stress were consistent across groups, with 32 percent of senior-level IT professionals and 30 percent of entry- to mid-level IT professionals reporting all-time-high career levels of stress.
More than two-thirds (69 percent) of entry- to mid-level workers said they would be willing to take a pay cut to escape stress. Comparatively, less than one-quarter (22 percent) of senior level workers would be willing to accept a pay decrease to escape stress.
Overall, the percentage of IT professionals who would not choose to pursue a career in IT rose from 19 percent in 2013 to 23 percent in 2014, indicating a trend towards dissatisfaction or disengagement that organizations ignore at their peril, especially considering the increase in expectations being placed on senior staffers.
"While the majority of IT professionals are proud they chose a career in IT, the survey results point to the potential of a trend towards dissatisfaction or disengagement that organizations need to monitor," Jason Hayman, market research manager for TEKsystems, said in a statement. "The shift so far is slight, but if it continues and organizations do not prepare for and adjust their talent management and workforce strategies accordingly, they could face even greater turnover, possibly causing even more stress and increased workloads for those employees that stick around."
IT professionals now view keeping up with organizational requests and workloads as the biggest stressor they face on a daily basis, displacing "keeping up with technology."
In addition, 31 percent of IT professionals now rank "keeping up with organizational requests/workload" as the most stressful followed by 28 percent choosing "keeping up with technology."
More than 4 out of 5 (81 percent) entry- to mid-level IT workers and more than 6 out of 10 (65 percent) senior IT professionals say stress causes them to initiate a job search.
Senior IT pros are also getting pulled back into the job after hours, according to the survey. Sixty-one percent of senior IT professionals said they are expected to be accessible 24/7—up from 57 percent in 2013. Just more than one-quarter (27 percent) of entry- to mid-level IT professionals are required to be as available, falling from 37 percent in 2013.
The survey also indicated senior IT professionals are losing pride in the work they do, with the percentage dropping from 72 percent in 2013 to 64 percent in 2014.
In comparison, the percentage of entry- to mid-level IT professionals that indicate they are proud of their career and current role, assignments and responsibilities dropped to 58 percent in 2014 from 64 percent in 2013.