IT professionals getting too comfortable despite the choppy economic waters

I was sent a press release this week about a survey that shows an increasing desire for IT professionals to reduce their working weeks to four days in exchange for less money.

I wrote a little news story about it here.

IT workers calling for a shorter working week seems quite brave given the large numbers of IT workers that are currently out of work. Most of these would happily settle for five days of work every week.

And then there are the offshore workers. These workers will also gladly step in and work a full for less money.

There were only 2000 or so IT professionals interviewed in the survey and they were all in employment, so I doubt it is a good reflection of attitudes in the entire IT sector.

However outsourcing and the use of contractors could be the answer to the work/life balance demands of IT workers.

If businesses allowed IT staff to work fewer hours perhaps they could use outsourcers or contractors to fill the gaps. If outsourcers and contractors were open to doing a day a week for example at a company it could work.

Most businesses have a combination of in-house and outsourcer staff. If they get the balance right they could offer shorter working hours.

If they don’t use contractors and outsourcers to fill gaps in-house IT staff would just end up working more hours when they are in the office.

Join the conversation


Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

The respondents were probably all government sector IT managers, Karl... :o))

Steve's got a point. In my experience, public sector employers offer a great deal of flexibility (or at least they did until recently), but private sector employers generally don't unless they're forced to.

In any case, after years of ruthless outsourcing/offshoring/downsizing, we may have reached the stage of "Brazilification" (Douglas Coupland's term) of the IT work force in some sectors, where the few remaining survivors in many organisations are actually regarded as being indispensable so they have the clout to request this kind of flexibility, while the majority are working longer hours for fear of losing their jobs to imported cannon fodder.

So both extremes may be true at the same time as the polarisation of the workforce continues, between the comfortable gated communities of the fortunate few and the IT favelas increasingly inhabited by many surviving UK-based IT workers.

In any case, I certainly see no signs of IT professionals getting "too comfortable" in the current climate.