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After the layoffs: Increased workloads stress out those left behind

Job cuts are never easy - and finding your name on the layoff list can be traumatic, especially this time of year. There's no disputing that.

Job cuts are never easy - and finding your name on the layoff list can be traumatic, especially this time of year. There's no disputing that.

But what about the folks whose names are not on the list, the ones who get left behind to pick up the workload slack? They certainly don't want to be complainers when the boss comes walking over to hand off the work that Mary or Joe was doing, before they were laid off. But, they were barely keeping up with their own workload before - and now there's more?

An increased workload - followed by the pace of new technology and office politics - are the leading causes of stress for IT workers today, according to a survey released by Robert Half Technologies. OK, I know what you're thinking: Too much work can be a good thing in today's economic climate. But it can also take a toll on productivity. Overstressed workers don't usually perform at their best and stressed-out workplaces can quickly erode morale, as well.

Robert Half Technologies, which asked the question as part of a larger survey that helps shape hiring forecasts, said some companies are bringing in IT folks on a contract basis to help with the workload. Many are also looking at training and professional development programs to help employees keep pace with technology. Most importantly, though, good managers open the lines of communication to keep employees motivated and ensure that priority projects stay on track.

The survey asked the question: Which of the following do you think is the greatest source of workplace stress for IT professionals? The responses were:

stress chart