IT feels unloved, says survey

Workplace discontent is hugely prevalent in IT according to a recent survey.

security control room
Credit: Shutterstock

IT professionals are not happy, a recent survey says.

A big problem that reared its ugly head for survey respondents recently was a lack of clear career path from employers. Plus, IT workers don’t think that their organizations support their “professional interests or career goals.”

The survey, conducted by employee-engagement company TINYpulse analyzed responses from 2,200 employees working in various job functions, including IT, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal’s CIO Journal Deloitte Insights, which covered the results.

Most of the survey respondents who worked in IT “were largely dissatisfied with various aspects of their jobs,” CIO Journal says.



Happiness and IT don’t mix, the survey apparently found. The respondents were asked to rate happiness on a point scale and didn’t do too well.

Only 19 percent of the IT group rated their happiness at work a nine or 10. That was where a zero number represented total misery, and 10 represented the adjective “delighted”.

Most of the IT respondents came in at a blah-rating of somewhere between “miserable” and “middling.”

IT was about 14 percent less-happy with their work situation than employees from other job functions, CIO Journal interpreted.


So why this poor showing? What’s wrong with fiddling around with computers all day, you might think.

Well, social comment news website Reddit picked up on the story and has thus far received 227 comments. They shed light.

Money, upgrades and daylight would be among the many factors, the Reddit commenters say.


“In IT it's either ‘Everything is running fine! What do we pay you for?!’ or ‘Everything is broken and no one can work! What do we pay you for?!’," says one Reddit commenter TheIcelander.

Money shows up as an issue throughout the Reddit thread.

“No one wants to pay for what they need until after they need it,” PaletoBayPlayboy says. He was involved in IT budgeting.


Not spending money on upgrades is a problem. One commenter says that the fact that systems and servers are so outdated that “they are literally being held together with bubblegum and paper clips,” is an issue causing unhappiness.

“So you're constantly dealing with systems that are down, and everyone is p***** with you because the systems are down, but the systems are s***,” the user says of the position he or she is placed in.


“Six-out-of-ten times the problem is them” not typing their passwords correctly, says Serule of users. Three-out-of-ten it’s them not turning the PC “off and on again.”

Awesometographer concurs and says that because his IT desk supports a 45,000 university faculty, that gets “old” and is a cause of discontent in IT.


And that the media caricature of the IT work environment is in fact true, is another possible cause for the survey showing high levels of dissatisfaction.

“Most IT departments” are in the basement or some other light-less environment, Dermanus comments.

But “don't worry we've got plenty of fluorescent lights for that basement,” one commenter adds sarcastically.


But amusing comments aside—and there are plenty more, on all kinds of peeves if you want to read them—it’s a need for parading that’s probably the most useful Reddit observation.

In order to be perceived as valid or useful, and consequently gain satisfaction, IT must re-inforce “parading.” That’s where IT forces the company to acknowledge the work that IT does.

“Be sure to put it in terms they understand like ‘preventing a guaranteed downtime scenario which would have cost us $X’, and ‘reducing the time to generate all reports by X man hours every week or month saving us $Y’,” Reddit commenter Interbutt says.

“You need to be making them believe that they are getting something for their money with you,” the commenter adds.

This article is published as part of the IDG Contributor Network. Want to Join?

ITWorld DealPost: The best in tech deals and discounts.
Shop Tech Products at Amazon