In Boston, an organization of IBM users meeting at the Share conference held an informal discussion entitled “The Mythical 40-Hour Week”. In the session, it was emerged that work frustration is building among IT workers for mainly three reasons – work days lengthen, pay remains stagnant and career growth appears forbidden.
According one IT worker, taking part in the discussion, in the IT sector, it’s all about getting the job done, no matter how many hours people work. There are lots, lots of people in IT who are expected to work far more than a 40-hour week, according to another IT worker.
Describing the nature of the bosses, another IT worker said bosses expect their employees to work late into the night if any problem needed to be fixed and then be on the job the next day at the usual time.
According to Corporate Executive Board (CEB) in Washington, although companies are getting more unpaid hours from their workers, it is the companies themselves who are getting hurt in other ways.
CEB conducts ongoing behavioral surveys of employee attitudes. In its most recent survey, CEB has found that the willingness of employees to put in the extra effort to get a job done remains at low levels. It has fell down from about 12 percent of workers in 2007 to about 4 percent last year. According to the latest CEB survey of nearly 20,000 IT workers, the percentage is now at 4.6 percent.
Conrad Schmidt, Executive Director of the human resource practice at CEB said the recession has changed conditions for these workers. While recent restructurings may have created new opportunities for motivated workers, organizations may not be making that clear to their employees. And as a result, valuable IT employees might leave organizations for those that are better able to articulate the role of IT.