From the full report, it looks like the original purpose of the survey was to find staffing disparities and to figure out optimal IT staffing ratios. But the additional results were so overwhelming that the data suggests that IT pros are generally overworked and that there isn't going to be a resolution for it in the foreseeable future.
If you only work 52 hours per week, we can't afford to hire another full-time employee, because there's not enough work for a second person. So, the theory is that if you're not working 80 hours per week, then another employee can't be justified. So, if you aren't working at least 16 hours per day every day, then there's no new hires available.
Do you want to know the definition of burnout or disgruntled?
I'm pretty sure it has something to do with working more than 80 hours per week.
An employer once told me that he didn't see me working 60 or more hours per week, so he couldn't justify hiring someone new to assist me. My response was that I can only "put out fires." I can't fix anything new. Projects are slipping. I have no time to do research and I do have a life outside of the office. None of those answers were satisfactory.
Spiceworks survey numbers suggest that it wasn't anything personal against me. It seems to be a universal problem. See the featured results below.
As you can see in the data above, the average number of hours worked per week is 52. That's 12 extra hours per week or the equivalent of 78 extra days per year. At an average of 22 working days per month, that adds up to working an extra three-and-a-half months per year. That's a nice bonus for employers who still complain about staffing costs. And if you look at the almost 20 percent of respondents who work more than 60 hours per week, they're donating an extra six months of work per year to their employers.
But now I want to explore the other side of this discussion too.
The other side is that it is my experience that IT folks are really not the most focused or the most efficient workers in the hive. I'm sorry, but it's true. I'm sure that a lot of you know what I mean. Some of the long hours are because work hours aren't efficiently used. Sure I think it's OK to collaborate and have a little personal discussion here and there, but trying to get some people to focus on the task at hand before 4PM, when at last they realize that it's almost quitting time for other people, is often difficult.
Of course, inefficiency isn't always the cause. There are some of us who just have entirely too much to do and the length of our tasks is longer than we can manage in an eight-hour day. I understand. And often, you can't leave in the middle of something just because the five o'clock whistle blows for everyone else. It's often worse in smaller companies, where the IT personnel not only have responsibility for computers, but also the networking equipment, the printers, the phone system, and personal gadgets. And everyone's "thing" is your top priority.
North Americans "win" the most hours work prize with 57 percent of staff working more than 40 per week. Our EMEA counterparts are also burning some midnight oil. 49 percent of them work more than 40 hours per week.
So, what do all the numbers really mean?
The numbers indicate that in IT, you're going to work more than 40 hours per week, regardless of which area or sector you work in. And that's not likely to change. Employers want to extract as much as they can from workers. However, if people are overworked, as many of us appear to be, then employers must take the negative aspects of these longer hours in stride. Bad attitudes, more mistakes, stress, health problems, burnout, turnover, and less overall efficiency--which adds to the problem are the major pitfalls with overworking your IT staff.
Spiceworks offers a video that teaches you "How to Speak Boss."
What I think is that employers should realize that employees are not commodities; they are an investment. And with any investment, you should expect a certain amount of return. But, as any smart investor knows, you can't just leave your investment sitting there, you have to manage it and nurture it into something. The same goes for employees.
How about you? How many hours per week do you work at your IT job? What do you think should be the solution for working so many hours? Talk back and let us know.