One in four tech professionals are ready to leave their jobs, survey reveals

What does it take to assure a more positive work environment for many stressed-out technology workers and professionals?
Written by Joe McKendrick, Contributing Writer
Reviewed by Min Shin
Person burnt out at work
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For a while, before cooler economic winds tempered things down, the "Great Resignation" and "quiet quitting" reflected people's frustrations with their current work situations. However, this fever has yet to break among technology professionals, with new research revealing a quarter of IT professionals are considering quitting their jobs in the next six months. Heavy workloads, stress, and isolation associated with remote work are to blame.

"This exodus of IT workers has the potential to cost US employers more than $145 billion," Ivanti's report, based on a survey of 8,400 executives, professionals, and office workers, states. It adds that IT professionals are also 1.4 times more likely to "quiet quit" than other knowledge workers. 

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There is also this disturbing finding: Among the quarter of IT professionals considering quitting their jobs, 31% report their mental health is suffering. 

The report's authors also estimate that there has been a 73% increase in IT workloads due to hybrid or remote working, and at least one in four professionals is suffering from burnout. IT professionals are also 2.5 times more likely to work longer hours when working remotely. In addition, 23% of IT workers cite loss of connection to colleagues while just 17% of office workers cite this loss. 

Still, despite these challenges, the vast majority of IT professionals (84%) want to continue to work remotely at least some of the time. 

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What does it take to assure a more positive work environment for many stressed-out technology workers and professionals? For their part, the report's authors point to a "lack of resources, tools, and support," versus a direct result of remote work, which many actually find beneficial.   

Industry leaders across the spectrum share their concerns and advice about working with information technology: 

Keep learning

"Keep learning is my best advice," says Andrew Duncan, CEO and managing partner at Infosys Consulting. "New experiences, new skills development, and new project opportunities are always the best path to keep advancing. Find a mentor that can help you through coaching and advisory -- these types of more seasoned business veterans are often a great ticket to opening new doors within a company, especially for younger professionals. Keep yourself visible and market yourself -- show people your successes and achievements and the value you have created in a project." 

Be a team player 

"Become critically important for the success of your team," says Zaven Nahapetyan, co-founder of Niche.club, and a former engineering manager at Facebook. "As you get more senior, think about your team in broader terms: First, your immediate coworkers, then your organization. Understand what results you, your team, and your organization are supposed to be driving. Don't think of your job as a list of responsibilities, but rather as an investment by the company in order to achieve some goal. Try to understand what that goal is, and do everything in your power to help achieve it."  

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Focus on the big picture

"Today's technology professionals should look beyond their current role in their organization, to think more broadly about the current challenges of the industry as a whole," says Ben Smith, CTO of NetWitness. "Internally, they should seek out educational opportunities and tools available to expand their skills and succeed in their roles. Managers should know the top two or three goals of each of their employees, particularly those goals which may cross over from the professional world into the personal. The sooner a manager realizes that they cannot succeed by managing every employee identically, the stronger that manager's retention metric will be, whether in cybersecurity or any other industry."  

Shift thinking from heads-down tech to heads-up business concerns 

"A tech professional who demonstrates how costs could be offset through IT activities instead of simply outlining costs of a project is more likely to be hired or retained," says Jeff Williams, VP of enterprise and HRO service for Paychex. "Develop the ability to clearly communicate and speak the language of business leaders and investors to position yourself as a business driver and an indispensable asset. Be a student of your firm. Know the income statement, the balance sheet, your competition, and your operating environment. Go to places that differentiate you, your knowledge, and your upside. To build a bridge to more senior positions, you must demonstrate an understanding of the business you're in and the role technology plays. The people who understand their operating environment and technology's place in it tend to get noticed."

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