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TEKsystems’ Annual Stress and Pride Survey Highlights Reasonable Workloads, Overall Satisfaction with Career Choice and Ability to Unplug During Vacation 

TEKsystems®, a leading provider of IT staffing solutions, IT talent management expertise and IT services, today released the results of its annual IT Stress and Pride survey which explores the levels of stress, expected accessibility and career pride experienced by IT professionals. Overall, the survey results point to reasonable levels of stress, a decline in satisfaction levels with current roles and responsibilities, and indicate that most IT professionals are able to disengage during vacations and time off.

Key highlights from the survey include:

Stress Levels Remain Low; More than Four in Ten Would Take Less Pay to Escape Stress

"I consider the work I am currently doing to be the most stressful of my career."

2014

2015

2016

Entry- to Mid-Level

Agree

30%

11%

14%

Neither Agree nor Disagree

29%

26%

29%

Disagree

41%

63%

57%

Senior Level

Agree

32%

13%

18%

Neither Agree nor Disagree

26%

26%

17%

Disagree

42%

61%

65%

Has a stressful experience at work ever motivated you to seek employment elsewhere?

2014

2015

2016

Entry- to Mid-Level

Yes

81%

51%

57%

No

19%

49%

43%

Senior Level

Yes

65%

59%

60%

No

35%

41%

40%

Have you ever considered taking a new position that would equate to a pay decrease in order to escape stress levels at work?

2014

2015

2016

Entry- to Mid-Level

Yes

69%

31%

41%

No

31%

69%

59%

Senior Level

Yes

22%

47%

49%

No

78%

53%

51%

  • TEKsystems’ Take: While increasing slightly from 2015, less than one in five IT professionals consider the work they are currently doing to be the most stressful of their career. Both entry- to mid-level IT professionals and senior IT professionals are less accepting of stress, with an increasing percentage indicating they would seek alternative employment or consider less compensation to escape stress.
Organizational Workload Displaces Keeping Up With Technology as Greatest Stressor; Majority of IT Professionals Face Reasonable Expectations During a Typical Work Week

What is the MOST stressful part of being an IT professional?

Entry- to Mid-Level

2014

2015

2016

Keeping up with organizational requests/workload

30%

27%

33%

Impact on work-life balance

23%

23%

26%

Keeping up with technology

29%

41%

23%

Coordinating, interacting with co-workers/supervisors

18%

9%

18%

Senior Level

2014

2015

2016

Keeping up with organizational requests/workload

32%

28%

39%

Impact on work-life balance

24%

28%

35%

Keeping up with technology

27%

30%

20%

Coordinating, interacting with co-workers/supervisors

17%

14%

6%

During a NORMAL WORK WEEK, I'm expected to be accessible:

2014 Entry- to Mid-Level

2015 Entry- to Mid-Level

2016 Entry- to Mid-Level

24/7 – No excuses

27%

15%

17%

6 a.m. to Midnight

8%

4%

6%

6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

17%

24%

17%

8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

48%

57%

60%

During a NORMAL WORK WEEK, I'm expected to be accessible:

2014 Senior Level

2015 Senior Level

2016 Senior Level

24/7 – No excuses

61%

13%

19%

6 a.m. to Midnight

13%

5%

7%

6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

14%

15%

9%

8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

12%

67%

65%

  • TEKsystems’ Take: One-third or more of IT professionals indicate that organizational requests/workload leapt to the top spot as top stressor. Additionally, keeping up with technology fell from No. 1 in 2015 to No. 3 in 2016. This reduction could be attributed to a shift in core IT duties as organizations transition from implementing new initiatives (keeping up with technology) into maintenance of existing programs (focusing on requests/workload). Sixty percent or more of all IT professionals indicate they are only expected to be accessible during reasonable work hours, reinforcing the “maintenance” aspect of their current workloads.
Vast Majority of IT Professionals Able to Experience Vacation Yet One-Fifth Stay Connected in Order to Manage Stress

Entry- to Mid-Level IT professionals

When ON VACATION, I'm expected to be accessible:

2014 Entry- to Mid-Level

2015 Entry- to Mid-Level

2016 Entry- to Mid-Level

24/7 – No excuses

18%

6%

6%

6 a.m. to Midnight

1%

1%

1%

6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

2%

3%

1%

8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

5%

5%

5%

I'm not expected to be available

74%

85%

87%

When ON VACATION, my level of engagement on work-related activities is:

2014 Entry- to Mid-Level

2015 Entry- to Mid-Level

2016 Entry- to Mid-Level

I do not perform any work related activities while on vacation

NA

NA

56%

I respond to emergency or critical requests

NA

NA

37%

I perform most of my regular job role responsibilities

NA

NA

7%

I experience less stress if I stay in touch with my office/work while ON VACATION:

2014 Entry- to Mid-Level

2015 Entry- to Mid-Level

2016 Entry- to Mid-Level

Agree

NA

NA

21%

Neither Agree nor Disagree

NA

NA

29%

Disagree

NA

NA

50%

Senior IT professionals

When ON VACATION, I'm expected to be accessible:

2014 Senior Level

2015 Senior Level

2016 Senior Level

24/7 – No excuses

47%

5%

13%

6 a.m. to Midnight

4%

2%

2%

6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

11%

3%

2%

8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

8%

7%

5%

I'm not expected to be available

30%

83%

78%

When ON VACATION, my level of engagement on work-related activities is:

2014 Senior Level

2015 Senior Level

2016 Senior Level

I do not perform any work related activities while on vacation

NA

NA

42%

I respond to emergency or critical requests

NA

NA

56%

I perform most of my regular job role responsibilities

NA

NA

2%

I experience less stress if I stay in touch with my office/work while ON VACATION:

2014 Senior Level

2015 Senior Level

2016 Senior Level

Agree

NA

NA

21%

Neither Agree nor Disagree

NA

NA

28%

Disagree

NA

NA

51%

  • TEKsystems’ Take: Nearly eight of 10 IT professionals are not expected to be available on vacation, indicating that overall workloads are congruent with current staffing levels. Nearly one-quarter of all IT professionals indicate they are less stressed if they maintain some level of contact with their work/office while on vacation, yet approximately half disagree, indicating they prefer to totally “unplug.”
Vast Majority of IT Professionals are Satisfied With Their Choice of Career and Optimistic Towards the Future; Yet Majority are Not Experiencing Peak Career Satisfaction and One-Quarter are not Proud of their Current Role

If you could do it all over again, would you still go into IT?

2014

2015

2016

Entry- to Mid-Level

Yes

76%

91%

84%

No

24%

9%

16%

Senior Level

Yes

79%

85%

84%

No

21%

15%

16%

Which of the following statements best describe your feelings regarding "career pride"?

2014

2015

2016

Entry- to Mid-Level

I am proud that I chose IT as a career AND I am proud of my current role, assignments and responsibilities.

58%

70%

71%

I am proud that I chose IT as a career BUT I am NOT proud of my current role, assignments and responsibilities.

31%

27%

26%

I am NOT proud that I chose IT as a career.

11%

3%

3%

Senior Level

I am proud that I chose IT as a career AND I am proud of my current role, assignments and responsibilities.

64%

81%

75%

I am proud that I chose IT as a career BUT I am NOT proud of my current role, assignments and responsibilities.

29%

16%

24%

I am NOT proud that I chose IT as a career.

7%

3%

1%

"I am optimistic about future job opportunities in IT."

2014

2015

2016

Entry- to Mid-Level

Agree

NA

NA

69%

Neither Agree nor Disagree

NA

NA

19%

Disagree

NA

NA

12%

Senior Level

Agree

NA

NA

71%

Neither Agree nor Disagree

NA

NA

16%

Disagree

NA

NA

13%

"I consider the work I am currently doing to be the most satisfying of my career."

2014

2015

2016

Entry- to Mid-Level

Agree

39%

47%

48%

Neither Agree nor Disagree

29%

33%

27%

Disagree

32%

20%

25%

Senior Level

Agree

42%

45%

38%

Neither Agree nor Disagree

30%

33%

38%

Disagree

28%

22%

24%

  • TEKsystems’ Take: Nearly three-quarters of all IT professionals remain happy with their chosen career, with almost the same amount optimistic about the future of the IT jobs market. However, approximately one-quarter state dissatisfaction with their current job, and less than half indicate they are involved with the most satisfying work of their career. The data points suggest that while the lull in IT initiatives may lessen stress, it is also contributing to low levels of satisfaction.

“The research shows the last two years have been a time of lower stress levels for IT professionals. IT may be focused on maintaining core IT programs while overall trends—appropriate staffing levels, decentralization of new LOB-focused IT programs, outsourcing, BYOD and others—have all contributed to allowing workloads to be reasonable,’ said TEKsystems Research Manager Jason Hayman. “The big picture looks positive in terms of IT professionals’ satisfaction with their career choice and outlook towards future options.”

TEKsystems’ Jason Hayman is available for additional commentary. For more information about the survey, or to schedule an interview, please contact Rick McLaughlin at TEKsystems@teamlewis.com.

About TEKsystems

People are at the heart of every successful business initiative. At TEKsystems, we understand people. Every year we deploy more than 80,000 IT professionals at 6,000 client sites across North America, Europe and Asia. Our deep insights into IT human capital management enable us to help our clients achieve their business goals–while optimizing their IT workforce strategies. We provide IT staffing solutions, IT talent management expertise and IT services to help our clients plan, build and run their critical business initiatives. Through our range of quality-focused delivery models, we meet our clients where they are, and take them where they want to go, the way they want to get there.