SAN JOSE, Calif. ISR, an employee research and consulting firm, has uncovered new research that indicates employment security concerns, perceived unreasonable workloads and job stress are contributing to a growing discontentment among IT workers in the United States.
The perception that IT jobs are at risk for outsourcing may also be responsible for the steady decline in IT workers' belief that their employers reward innovation, as this number has declined from 64 percent in 2001 to 46 percent in 2005.
Job stress is a problem for 51 percent of all U.S. IT workers, which is 10 percent greater than reported by the overall U.S. workforce, according to ISR (Chicago). Some 53 percent say their workloads are excessive, compared to 39 percent of the U.S. workforce, according to the firm.
ISR data shows that the number of IT workers that would seriously consider leaving their company increased from 16 percent in 2004 to 25 percent in 2005.
Only 57 percent of U.S. IT workers are sure they will continue to have a job as long as they perform well. In comparison, 68 percent of the overall U.S. working population report confidence in keeping a job as long as they perform well.
Also supporting this notion is the ISR finding that 57 percent of IT workers are worried about being laid off within the next year, compared to 47 percent of the U.S. workforce. Even more troubling, just 33 percent of IT workers are unworried about the consequences of a corporate reorganization.
"These responses reflect the growing perception that companies view the IT function primarily as a cost-center instead of as a source of innovation that delivers a competitive advantage," said Gary Berger, executive director of ISR. "As the trend of outsourcing continues to gain momentum and the tough economic conditions of recent years continue to fade, it has created a perfect storm that could lead to higher turnover among IT workers as the U.S. economy continues to gain strength."
ISR, which annually surveys more than 1.5 million global employees and more than 445,000 US employees, compared opinions on job stress and employment security issues between a representative population of the U.S. workforce to those opinions of U.S.-based IT workers. ISR defines IT workers as professionals who work within a company in the IT function and not necessarily for an IT firm or high tech company.