IT pros average 52-hour workweek

Employees in small IT departments tend to work more hours than those in large IT departments

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It’s no surprise that a majority of IT pros work more than 40 hours per week, but it’s interesting to learn that some are putting in significantly longer workweeks, according to new survey data from Spiceworks. 

Among 600 IT pros surveyed, 54% said they work more than 40 hours per week. At the high end of the overtime group, 18% of respondents said they work more than 60 hours per week, and 17% said they top 50 hours per week. The average workweek among all respondents is 52 hours, Spiceworks reports.

The data comes at a time when hiring managers say it’s tough to hire experienced talent and IT pros say they’re more willing to switch jobs for a better offer. Companies claim to be boosting pay and increasing benefits and perks to entice employees – yet technical talent averages 10+ hours per day, according to the Spiceworks data. 

When it surveyed respondents about IT staffing practices, Spiceworks hoped to find a consensus about the ideal IT staff-to-user ratio that would enable adequate incident response times without overworking IT staff. The company – which offers free management software and hosts a community for IT pros – didn’t come up with any universal formula, but it did share information about staffing trends across multiple industries and different sized companies. Here are a few of the survey findings.

Industry plays a big role in IT workload
IT pros who work in government and education are less likely to work extra hours than those in other industries. In education and government, only 33% and 37% of staff, respectively, work more than a 40-hour week.

spiceworks industry Spiceworks

In the construction/engineering and manufacturing industries, workweeks exceeding 50 hours are the norm. Construction/engineering is at the high end of the scale, with 72% of staff working long hours. In manufacturing, 60% of staff work more than a 40-hour week. 

Large IT departments share workloads more effectively
Spiceworks found a correlation between the size of IT departments and the number of hours worked. Organizations with 40-hours-or-less workweeks tend to have larger IT departments (an average of 17 employees).  Conversely, smaller IT departments tend to require more than 40 hours per week. The average overworked IT department has 10 or fewer staff members.

Helpdesk size, in particular, shapes the workload
Solving end users’ problems is one reason IT staff is overworked, Spiceworks concludes. Its survey found that IT pros in departments with more dedicated helpdesk technicians work fewer hours on average, while IT pros in departments with fewer helpdesk technicians tend to work more than 40 hours per week. Specifically, organizations with 40-hours-or-less workweeks have an average of 9 helpdesk technicians; organization with more than 40-hour workweeks have an average of 3 helpdesk technicians.


Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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