IT workers get a fair share of respect and admiration from non-IT folk. (When I used to work in IT, people would sometimes liken some of my tasks to doing magic--when really what I did was restart the server.) A new survey, however, finds that despite the career prospects and perks, IT workers tend to be more unhappy than other workers.
The survey comes from TINYPulse, a company that measures employee satisfaction and happiness. They surveyed more than 5,000 employees working in tech (in 500 organizations across the globe) and compared their responses to people who worked in other departments, such as marketing and finance. Only 19% of IT workers answered 9 or 10 when asked "on a scale of 1 to 10, how happy are you at work?" compared to the 22% of non-IT workers who said they were very happy in the workplace.
IT staff complained about feeling underappreciated, lacking a clear career path or promotion opportunities, and negative team environments:
IT professionals don't often have a clear career and promotion path, compared to 50% of other employees whose paths are clear. Only 17% of IT workers also felt valued at work (tech support and behind-the-scenes development are often thankless jobs), and there's not often a lot of unit within the IT department.
These are roadblocks, TINYpulse says, that hold IT employees back from doing their best work, and it can affect everyone outside of the tech industry as well. They're also warnings for leadership on things that should change to make a more engaging, happier work environment.