In this tough economy, IT workers are taking on more projects and longer hours. With job-related stress on the rise, they’re looking for ways to cope.

In Computerworld’s survey of 11,525 IT employees at this year’s Best Places to Work, 25 per cent said they find work “stressful,” and another 9 per cent said it’s “very stressful.” IT workers say they value honesty from employers, access to exercise equipment, outside activities and work-friendly teams to help them beat stress. Here are some tips from IT employees and managers about stress-reduction techniques that work.

Be as frank with your IT team as possible.

“In these economic times, IT developers are worried about their companies looking offshore for workers; it makes IT workers concerned about how secure their jobs are,” says Keith McLaughlin, manager of the applications development center at Avon Products Inc. (No. 18) in Rye, N.Y.

“Companies need to let the IT staff know what management is thinking. Avon told us in October that they had looked at outsourcing but didn’t feel it met their requirements. As a result, I don’t think anybody feels right now that the company has any plans to outsource IT,” he says.

“While there have been layoffs here in the past, we always were informed well ahead of time what was going on,” says Jeff Ecott, a senior systems analyst in consumer marketing systems at Bethesda, Md.-based Marriott International Inc. (No. 51). “We have