“IT Burnout at Critical Level”

NewsFactor Network (03/21/03); Maguire, James http://www.newsfactor.com/perl/story/21064.html

Employee burnout stemming from disenchantment, overwork, and the like, is on the rise in the IT sector, according to analysts. A Meta Group report authored by Maria Schafer finds that most surveyed IT managers regard burnout as a major issue, enough so that many firms have started to seriously evaluate the problem and even take steps to remedy it. She estimates that 24 percent of the companies polled have improved employee retention programs, while 5 percent relocated to assuage worker dissatisfaction and bring in more IT talent. The report also indicates that 55 percent of the respondents have initiated training programs, though Schafer acknowledges that such programs are hard to afford, given worker layoffs. Meanwhile, tighter budgets are limiting salary growth, although 17 percent of companies are focusing on wages. Still, Schafer points out that average salaries for IT professionals are still higher than those of other company employees, and predicts that demand for IT workers will climb back up, given the trend’s past history. She comments that even before the recession hit IT employees were feeling stressed out; in fact, the average IT professional clocks in between 55 and 60 hours each week. A subsequent study will focus on IT burnout’s corporate ramifications, one of which could be a reduction in productivity, according to Schafer. “For some of the companies, who were at the mercy of engineers for three or four years [during the boom period], this is fair play in their eyes,” notes Yankee Group analyst Zeus Kerravala.