IT workers experiencing poorer work-life balance

Friday, 09 February, 2018

IT workers experiencing poorer work-life balance

The vast majority of IT workers say their work-life balance is impacted by their role, according to a new report.

PagerDuty’s survey of over 800 IT professionals found that 94% reported their role impacting on their family life and work productivity.

According to the report, the work-life balance of Australian IT professionals lags behind the US and matches UK counterparts.

Twice as many US respondents (36%) said their work-life balance was excellent, compared to just 15% of IT professionals in Australia and the UK. However, Australians revealed a significant inability to manage stress compared to their UK IT professional counterparts (64% and 52%, respectively). The findings contradict the general perception that Australians enjoy a better work-life balance than workers in Britain, and that American employees suffer even more because of fewer days off.

The impact of today’s ‘always-on’ culture is far-reaching, the survey shows. Nearly all of those questioned across the three countries said that being responsible for the management of digital services impacted their family lives.

The same number (94.5%) said that personal life and sleep interruptions when on call impacted their work productivity. One in four went as far as saying that a poor work-life balance made them more likely to search for new job opportunities.

“This always-on culture, perpetuated by mobile devices and multiple screens, has become the norm for IT professionals around the world. But it’s taking a toll on the employees who have to drop everything to address problems,” said PagerDuty Head of Asia Pacific Japan David Wall.

“Without a healthy work-life balance, organisations will have employees who are either unable to perform to the best of their ability or choose to walk away. Our research suggests the famous Aussie work-life balance is a thing of the past for IT professionals, so we urge organisations to take more responsibility for the welfare of their on-call teams to help workers avoid burnout.”

Additional survey findings from across the three regions include:

  • More than half (51%) of IT professionals surveyed experience sleep and/or other personal life interruptions due to a digital service disruption or an outage more than 10 times a week.
  • 72% of IT professionals say their managers have little or no visibility in knowing when they are experiencing a difficult on-call period.
  • Of the 82% of Australian respondents that rated their work-life balance as good, very good or excellent, 52% agreed that poor work-life balance is just part of the job. 45% agree their work-life balance isn’t the greatest, but they deal with it.

The report findings can be found in full here.

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