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Network World - Long hours? Likely. A healthy work-life balance? Probably not.
Despite the challenges of working in tech, most IT pros are satisfied with their demanding jobs, according to new survey data. Ninety-five percent are proud they chose IT as a career, and 81% would do it all over again given the chance, reports TEKsystems, which offers IT staffing and talent management services.
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On the topic of long hours, respondents tended to fall into one of two extremes when it comes to companies' expectations for being able to reach IT pros during a normal work week. At one extreme, 41% said they're expected to be available around the clock, while at the other extreme, 38% indicated typical workday hours (8 a.m. - 6 p.m.). The remainder said they're expected to be accessible from 6 a.m. - 8 p.m. (cited by 14%) or 6 a.m. - midnight (cited by 7%).
The percentage of respondents who said they were expected to be available 24/7 was higher for senior-level IT pros (57%) than for entry- and mid-level IT pros (37%).
Many IT pros can't even escape from work demands when they take a vacation. Among senior IT pros, 67% said they're expected to be available during vacation. Conversely, 71% of entry- and mid-level respondents indicate that they're NOT expected to be available during vacation.
TEKsystems also asked if companies make any extra effort to lessen IT's workload -- by bringing in temporary help, for example, or extending deadlines -- during summertime, when staffing is lower because of vacations. More than 80% said no.
Across all levels of experience, IT workers said the two most stressful aspects of the profession are keeping up with technology and dealing with the impact on work-life balance. But respondents differed when it came to ranking which of those two challenges is more pressing. Senior-level IT professionals rate work-life balance as the top issue (33%), followed by technology (31%). Entry- and mid-level respondents rate technology first (31%) followed by work-life balance (27%).
Here are some other findings from the TEKsystems survey:
"Even though IT professionals across the board, from entry to senior level, feel the stress of the job, they continue to be proud of their careers. When the demands of a job push beyond the hours of 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and require attention 24/7, it's critical for organizations to manage their talent so they remain motivated and engaged," said Rachel Russell, TEKsystems director, in a statement.