The Big Question is an initiative between Computer Weekly and recruitment consultancy PSD. Each week we put the Big Question to top IT professionals to get their take on a current talking point.
IT is a round-the-clock operation, which is reflected in the fact that two-thirds of respondents to this week's Big Question will be working over the festive period.
IT operations manager Desmond Runcorn said, "IT departments generally try to run a skeleton outfit over the festive period. However, when working for an international organisation it is very common to be working over Christmas, especially if you are in a support role these are the unfortunate ones the banks [and other firms] rely on."
Runcorn said home working facilities could be exploited where possible to ease the impact on staff, but others said it was a situation that was getting worse.
"I may have old fashioned views, but I feel that it really should be a time spent with my family," said one respondent.
"This year I had to ask for a lot of out-of-hours work from staff, and I am being forced to call some of the team in on Boxing Day - something I am totally against and have never done before."
Some IT departments rely heavily on contractor cover over Christmas, and one IT contractor managed to see a silver lining.
"I am covering the morning, so will be on call from midnight to midday on Christmas Day," he said. "But I will be off duty just in time to enjoy Christmas lunch - and I will have avoided peeling the sprouts into the bargain."
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