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Work-life balance of UK IT professionals lags behind US workers but equals Australians

12th February 2018 Print

Despite ‘always-on’ culture taking its toll, UK IT professionals are best placed for managing stress, finds survey.

PagerDuty, the global leader in Digital Operations Management, has announced a new study that reveals the work-life balance of UK IT professionals is lagging behind that of their US counterparts but matches Australia data, according to a new report from the company.

The survey of over 800 IT professionals across the UK, the US and Australia, found that twice as many US respondents (36 per cent) said their work-life balance was excellent versus just 15 per cent of IT professionals in the UK and 16 per cent Australia.

The findings contradict the general perception by many in the UK that Australians enjoy a better work-life balance than workers in Britain, and that American employees suffer even more because of fewer days off.

UK IT pros say they are more capable of managing stress than their counterparts in the US and Australia, however. More than half (52 per cent) of IT pros in the UK indicated that a fair or poor work-life balance affected their ability to manage stress versus 68 per cent of survey respondents in the US and 64 per cent of respondents in Australia.

The impact of today’s ‘always-on’ culture is far-reaching, the survey shows. Nearly all (94 per cent) 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 per cent) said that personal life and sleep-interruptions when on call impacted their work productivity. One in four (25 per cent) went as far as saying that a poor work-life balance made them more likely to search for new job opportunities.

“Just like poor visibility into application and infrastructure impacts IT’s ability to improve performance, so does a lack of visibility into team workloads impact your ability to retain an effective response team,” said Nancy Gohring, senior analyst at 451 Research. “New approaches to gaining insight about the experience of IT teams should help leaders better manage incident response and ultimately reduce staff burnout.”

Commenting on the findings, Steve Barrett, country manager for the UK and Ireland and head of EMEA, PagerDuty says, “This always-on, always-available world has become the norm for IT professionals around the globe. But it’s taking a toll on the employees who have to drop everything to address problems. 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. It’s time for companies to take more responsibility over the welfare of their technical and operational teams to help workers avoid burn-out.”

Additional survey findings from across the three regions include:

More than half (51 per cent) 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 per cent of IT professionals say their managers have little or no visibility in knowing when they are experiencing a difficult on-call period.

Over half (54.8 per cent) of respondents who reported that their managers have slight to no visibility, also said their practices and tools are only somewhat reliable for ensuring their teams are engaged in their work and thriving in their roles.

The report findings can be found in full here