Careers: Study Shows You're Working Harder than Ever

If you think you’ve got a lot more on your plate these days, you’re probably right

If you think you’ve got a lot more on your plate these days, you’re probably right.

According to a recent study from IT staffing specialist Robert Half Technology, IT pros are shouldering more responsibilities than ever.

If there’s any good news here, it’s that they aren’t laboring in vain. Robert Half’s study is based on a random survey of more than 1,400 CIOs at U.S. companies with 100 or more employees. All told, 66 percent of CIOs say their IT workloads have increased somewhat (37 percent) or increased significantly (29 percent) over the last 12 months—while just four percent say their IT workloads have decreased during the same period.

Among CIOs who said their IT workloads had increased over the last year, an overwhelming majority—86 percent—said the heavier workloads were the result of new project initiatives. Just eight percent felt their IT workers were being asked to do more with less, while four percent said that both new project activity and staff reductions were to blame.

Robert Half says the results are a validation of an improved economic picture. At the same time, however, Robert Half executive director Katherine Spencer Lee attributes some of the new project activity to regulatory compliance initiatives—in other words, to compulsory requirements that don’t necessarily reflect robust economic conditions.

“An improving economy has prompted many companies to move forward with business expansion initiatives,” Lee said in a statement released by the firm. “Recent government regulations requiring tighter controls on corporate data also are placing greater demands on IT departments.”

Most CIOs seem to feel that their IT staffs are coping—at least temporarily with heavier workloads—but Lee says they need to take steps to safeguard against burn-out. “Supervisors should regularly review workers’ ongoing assignments to ensure their to-do lists are manageable,” she says. “This also will help determine if tasks should be redistributed or if additional contract or full-time personnel are required to support core staff.”

About the Author

Stephen Swoyer is a Nashville, TN-based freelance journalist who writes about technology.

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