The Information Technology (IT) industry is known for being unique in many ways. Above average job growth, high earnings, and exciting projects are typical in IT. But one of the other aspects that comes along with all this is stress.
A study by GFI Software indicated that stress in the IT market comes from increasingly long work hours to meet project deadlines, missed time with family, and lost sleep. As many as 40 percent of the 200 IT professionals polled said they missed time with their kids, and nearly as many missed sleep on a regular basis. 30 percent said they were currently suffering from stress-related illnesses. Some blame it on the work values of a multigenerational workforce, others blame it on long-held habits of the IT field.
Unfortunately, some IT professionals will find it difficult to deal with stress, while others will learn ways to blow off steam from this occupation. In order to develop a highly productive IT workforce, it’s important to put some measures into place to help everyone keep their cool. Here are some ideas:
Create a stress-free environment
Your workplace can become an “oasis of calmness” by taking a few steps to improve the environment. Set up a few soft seating areas for staff meetings. Improve the lighting and open up workspaces. Bring in some cool artwork, plants, and a coffee bar.
Set realistic IT project deadlines
Stress often comes from over-the-top project deadlines that put too much pressure on IT professionals. Manage your projects better to include some wiggle room, which creates more workable timelines and expectations with clients and work teams. Avoid letting scope creep affect projects too.
Have the right skills in the right roles
When assigning tasks to IT employees, make sure you have matched the right projects to the right people. You would not expect a coder to be designing web content, nor a software engineer working on project management, right? Get job requirements and project needs handled at the start, and bring in IT temps with specialized skill gaps.
Give the IT guy some more respect
Every workplace has at least one IT guy who is always there in the background picking up everyone’s slack. He may even live here because it seems that he never takes time off. Give this guy (or gal) some respect and make sure that everyone gets time off for better work-life balance.
Provide casual and flexible work arrangements
Stress in the IT industry can come from too stringent work schedules and outdated work attire demands. Let your employees focus on their work more and their wardrobes less. Give them a flexible schedule that helps them to prioritize the things that matter to them the most.
Support a healthy work culture
Corporate cultures that want to reduce stress often have a healthy focus, in the form of onsite health and wellness programs. Give your IT teams the ability to unwind from their daily stressors with plenty of physical fitness perks, onsite massage therapy, and a break area where they can find free snacks, beverages, and comfortable seating to relax a little.