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Survey: IT Pros Are Stressed Out

IT administrators consider their jobs to be stressful, and they are more likely to say they'll quit when working at smaller organizations.

A March poll conducted by Opinion Matters asked 413 IT decision makers, divided about equally between the United States and the United Kingdom, about job stress and its effects. The survey was sponsored by GFI Software, a Cary, N.C.-based Microsoft Gold Certified Partner that provides management and security solutions to small to midsize businesses (SMBs).

Most IT administrators considered their jobs stressful, with 65 percent saying so in the U.S. sample and 68 percent saying so in the U.K. sample. The stress mostly got attributed to managers. The top three stressors, according to the survey, were management, too few IT staff and tight deadlines. End users, while apparently annoying, were less stressful to deal with according to 12 percent (U.S.) and 16 percent (U.K.) of the survey respondents.

Thoughts of quitting among IT administrators were higher in smaller organizations. In the U.S. sample, IT staff in companies with 10 to 49 employees were most likely (41 percent) to say they'd quit because of stress, while IT staff in companies with more than 500 employees were least likely (10 percent) to think about quitting.

The stress factor and thoughts about quitting played out similarly in the U.K. sample. The survey found a higher propensity to quit in organizations with 100 to 249 employees than in firms with more than 500 employees.

Overtime affected some IT personnel, according to the survey. Almost a third in the U.S. sample indicated that they worked more than eight hours of overtime per week. In the U.K. sample, nearly half reported working six hours-plus of overtime per week.

The GFI-sponsored survey was the second of its kind. Compared with the 2012 survey, this March survey found responses to be a little more upbeat -- at least on the U.S. side. For instance, the 2013 survey found that 57 percent of U.S. respondents would quit due to stress, but that response was lower than the 67 percent figure recorded in the 2012 survey.

In the United Kingdom, quitters were up. There were 73 percent of respondents saying they'd quit in the 2013 survey, whereas that figure was at 69 percent a year ago.

GFI published a summary of the survey's results (PDF) as well as a press release with additional details. Some regional statistics are described in the press release. For instance, San Francisco is considered to be the city that most contributes to IT administrator stress woes.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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