IT professionals working more than 50 hours a week on the rise

Number of IT professionals working more than 50 hours a week on the rise, finds Robert Walters survey

The percentage of IT professionals working 50 or more hours a week has risen to 24%, according to a report from IT recruiter Robert Walters.

The Robert Walters Career Lifestyle Survey revealed the number has risen from 20% last year.

The survey also found that more than half of IT professionals believe it is important to change employer every three years or sooner, compared to only 30% of employees in legal, 36% in financial services and 40% in sales.

Despite the rise in longer working weeks, only a quarter reported putting in extra overtime, compared to 46% in HR, 45% in sales and 30% in legal or financial services.

Natasha Brooks, head of IT recruitment at Robert Walters, said a rise in the number of IT professionals working at least 50 hours each week is a reflection of the extra demands “being placed on these teams, underpinned by strong economic growth and business sign-off on new or previously mothballed technology projects.

“That said, among many in the profession, work-life balance remains by far the most important consideration in achieving career satisfaction.”

When respondents were asked for reasons to move jobs, 34% cited lack of career opportunities, 18% said their boss was unsupportive, 16% specified a negative salary review and 14% said it was due to poor company culture. Only 5% said they would move for lack of flexible hours.

One quarter of IT professionals said remote working was "very important", compared to 15% of professionals in accountancy or financial services, 17% in marketing and 20% in HR.

60% said they rate work-life balance as "very important" to their career satisfaction, with 52% citing remuneration, 46% saying interest in work and 30% mentioning flexible working hours.

“Ultimately, as demand for experienced IT professionals grows, recruitment strategies need to appeal to what candidates find most attractive about their job. Many say that they are willing to leave their current role to get a foot on the next rung up the career ladder, for instance, so make sure you are placed to offer these before your competitors can swoop,” added Brooks.

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