IT Administrators’ Jobs Becoming Less Stressful in 2013

April 3, 2013

IT jobs are becoming more unwieldy every day. As cloud computing, mobile solutions and a host of other wrinkles add complication to the tech sector, the onus on IT managers becomes heavier. There are more elements to consider than ever before, from organization to security.

It's understandable that managing IT, especially for larger companies, is now quite the stressful position. But in a pleasant surprise, recent survey data indicates that the stress level of IT administrators has actually gotten lower, not higher, in the last year.

GFI Software recently announced the results of its second annual IT Administrator Stress Survey, which found that 65 percent of IT administrators characterize their jobs as "stressful" in 2013. This is a slight decrease from the 69 percent level of a year ago. The number of people considering leaving their IT administration jobs for stress-related reasons has also dropped – last year, that figure was at 67 percent, and it now sits at 57 percent.

"While it's promising to see the U.S. survey results reflect a slight improvement in morale, it's also concerning that more than half are still stressed to the point that they are actively considering leaving their current role," said Phil Bousfield, GFI's general manager of IT operations. "For SMBs in particular, the research is a stark reminder that IT staff need to be supported and given the right resources to do their job efficiently."

One source of workplace stress for IT managers is the pressure to keep their offices secure from outside attacks. Data breach incidents are through the roof in recent years, and hackers are always inventing new ways to invade companies' networks and steal information. According to survey data from Webroot, 8 out of every 10 companies experienced at least one web-borne attack in 2012, and 88 percent of security administrators say malware is a serious risk for web browsers. Network security has become a huge issue for IT officials.

That's not the only source of stress in IT, though. GFI's survey found that nearly one-third of officials are working more than eight hours of overtime per week, a staggering amount of extra time. Other sources of stress cited included management (29 percent), staffing (24 percent) and meeting deadlines (20 percent).

Stress is a part of every job, to some extent. Being an IT administrator these days is a tougher position than most, but luckily stress is already declining a bit from its peak level of a year ago.