IT burnout reaches critical level

Employee morale has taken a beating in the last year, as IT staffers across the enterprise are facing critical levels of burnout, according to the annual IT Staffing and Compensation Guide recently released by Meta Group Inc.

Fuelled by economic uncertainty, staff cutbacks and budget reductions, 71 per cent of the IT managers questioned indicated that IT employee burnout is a serious issue in their organizations.

“By and large it has been a very difficult year for IT folks,” said Maria Schafer, program director of Meta Group’s IT human capital management strategies and author of the survey, based in Stamford, Conn.

“IT managers are trying to do more with fewer people…and in many cases don’t have much of a budget for anything.”

While the U.S.-based study relies on IT managers from mainly Fortune 1,000 companies, Schafer said the pattern of employee burnout is consistent across the board in North America.

“The U.S. and Canada are inextricably linked, both economically and the way work gets done,” she said. “It’s fair to say that IT employees in both Canada and the United States are facing the same types of burnout issues.”

Burnout usually sets in when the mix of juggling tight budgets leaves only a small amount of wiggle room in which the IT department can operate. As a result, both management and staffers, who in some cases are already working 60 or more hours a week, are forced to do more with less, Schafer said.

Many companies find additional perks