Most IT admins considered switching careers due to stress

67% of IT administrators have considered switching careers due to job stress, according to GFI Software. Managers, users (employees), and tight deadlines were cited as the biggest job stressors. Survey results also revealed that IT professionals tend to work long overtime hours, with one third working the equivalent of 10 additional weeks per year.

The independent blind survey, which polled 204 IT administrators in U.S. organizations ranging from 10 to more than 500 employees, gauged respondents’ stress levels at work and revealed their opinions on their main stressors, as well as how their stress level compares to friends and family, and how it affects their personal and professional lives.

Key findings from the survey include:

  • Nearly 70% of all IT administrators surveyed consider their job stressful.
  • Greater than 67% of IT administrators consider switching careers on either an occasional (43%) or regular (25%) basis due to job stress.
  • 72% of respondents consider themselves either just as stressed as or the most stressed compared to others in their social circle.
  • While less than half (47%) of IT admins at companies with between 10 and 49 employees say their jobs are stressful, that number skyrockets to 83% when those at companies with between 50 and 99 employees are polled, representing the most stressed group in the respondent base.
  • The top three sources of stress for IT admins are: management (28%), tight deadlines (20%) and the users they support (18%).
  • IT admins in the Northeast are the most stressed in the country (74%). Midwesterners are the least stressed, with nearly two-thirds (64%) still saying their job is stressful.

In addition to the stressors themselves, IT admins also noted that they routinely put in many overtime hours beyond the traditional 40-hour work week. More than one in three (36%) say they work eight hours or more of overtime during an average week, which adds up to nearly 10 extra weeks per year.

Nearly 85% of respondents feel as though their job has impacted their personal life in some way. According to the survey results, respondents have:

  • Lost sleep over work (42%)
  • Missed out on social functions (40%)
  • Missed time with their kids (39%)
  • Canceled commitments to friends and family due to work (35%).

“IT is a critical component of a company’s success, yet many SMBs, particularly those with between 50 and 100 employees, are not equipping IT managers with the budget, staffing and resources they need to be effective,” said Phil Bousfield, general manager of GFI Software’s Infrastructure Business Unit. “Not only is this creating a high stress environment for IT admins to operate in, but as evidenced by the survey results, it’s also resulting in long overtime hours and impacting their professional and personal lives. SMBs need to take these findings as a wake-up call, and ensure their IT staff is supported, productive and armed with the tools they need to be successful. Doing so will deliver business value and help IT admins have a better work-life balance.”

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