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stressed-out IT worker

IT worker stress a risk for employers

May 15, 2017

By Lisa Dare

As IT unemployment inches to zero, workers are starting to consider whether they’re happy in their current jobs. A significant majority—66 percent—say they’ve considered leaving their job for a less stressful position.

Echoing growing confidence in the economy and employment prospects, the number of IT workers who’d quit for less stress rose almost 15 percent since we checked last year.

How stressed are IT workers—and why?

Four out of five are stressed out by work on a work daily, mostly due to overwork, although a fair chunk cite keeping up with new technologies as a trigger. And most of the stressed-out workers would even consider taking less pay if it meant less pressure.

There is a bright spot: Only 14 percent of IT pros say they’re doing the most stressful work of their careers. But 66 percent have lost sleep due to work tensions and 42 percent even blame their job for their weight gain.

What can you employers about it?

Research shows an inability or unwillingness to completely unplug from work at night and during weekends and vacations contributes to higher stress and lower productivity.

It’s often a problem workers bring on themselves. While the vast majority of IT pros report they’re allowed to unplug during vacations—if the timing is right—they’re not always doing so. Over half say they monitor emails and 45 percent say they respond to them. And quite a few have gotten in trouble with their travel companions because of it!

As an employer, you can help set an expectation that employees not check email on vacation simply by publicly stating it. You can also establish a policy that any true emergencies will be communicated by phone, which gives staff mental permission to check out—for a bit. 

More: Read our best articles about retaining IT workers

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