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IT Worker Stress Test and Work/Life Balance

Summer: a time where vacations are taken to rejuvenate, relax and unplug … right? You may be surprised to discover that’s not the case. With the warmer months approaching, TEKsystems surveyed IT professionals for our annual IT Worker Stress Test and Work-Life Balance survey. Results reveal that most IT professionals experience a steady level of stress even while on vacation, and more than half continue to monitor work-related activity. The infographic below shows our findings and explores how plugging in on vacation can lead to continued—or higher—stress levels.

IT- stress-test-2017-infographic

*Source: IRS; currency exchange rate for year-end 2014

Time off increases team productivity

By now, we know the benefits of taking breaks and vacations. Numerous studies show that vacations promote higher work productivity, greater employee retention and significant health benefits. So, why are employees still “working” on vacation—even when it’s not asked of them?

With IT unemployment at an all-time low, it’s important to get a better understanding of how your employees experience work/life balance and ensure they are not feeling overly responsible for their projects, especially when they’re away to recharge.

Any time an IT pro goes on vacation is an opportunity for them to evaluate how stressful their job truly is—and whether or not to leave. Our survey reveals that while 83 percent of IT pros would still go into IT as a field, 66 percent of people are willing to walk away from their stressful job—and half would do it for less pay. Therefore, how they seem when they return from a trip could be a crucial time to observe.

Considerable evidence shows that work-induced stress not only hurts employees, but also the companies they work for. Stressed-out workers can affect a company’s bottom line, appearing in employee error, turnover and rising health insurance costs. Summer is the perfect opportunity to emphasize the importance of unplugging while on vacation. We recommend checking in with your team and making sure they are taking time off to rejuvenate. Because ultimately, if your people can truly relax on vacation, they will come back more refreshed and productive—which is better for your team members and you.