Spiceworks, the professional network for IT, today announced the results of a new survey exploring the factors that drive happiness among IT professionals in the workplace. The "2017 IT Job Satisfaction" report revealed that the biggest factor driving happiness is the quality of relationships IT professionals have with their coworkers, including users, peers, and managers. Sixty-one percent of IT professionals said their coworker relationships have a big impact on their happiness followed by their stress level and monetary compensation at 53 percent. The findings indicate money alone won't buy happiness in IT -- it's influenced by several factors such as an IT professional's position, where they work, and their relationships forged with colleagues.
"I tossed out money as a contributor to happiness a long time ago," said IT professional Michael Studte. "Although my salary, work hours, and vacation time are important to the equation, I've been the happiest in companies where management will listen and take my recommendations seriously, and where I'm able to build a good rapport with my users."
IT professionals in SMBs are happier and less stressed
According to the survey results, workplace happiness in IT is also influenced by company size. Only 55 percent of IT professionals report being happy in enterprises with more than 1,000 employees compared to 62 percent in medium-sized businesses with 100 to 999 employees and 66 percent in small companies with fewer than 100 employees.
IT professionals in small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) were not only slightly happier, but they're also less stressed than their counterparts in enterprises. For instance, 39 percent of IT professionals in enterprises said they're highly stressed compared to 30 percent in SMBs. However, the data also suggests IT professionals in SMBs are paid eight percent less per year than IT workers in enterprises.
IT directors report higher levels of job satisfaction than more junior IT professionals
The results also indicate happiness and stress in IT are highly influenced by job title, and as levels of responsibility increase, stress levels also rise. For example, 54 percent of IT directors report being highly stressed while only 44 percent of IT managers, 28 percent of network administrators, and 21 percent of help desk technicians reported the same.
Despite reporting the highest levels of stress, 70 percent of IT directors also indicated they're happy in their position. Network administrators and help desk technicians reported being slightly less happy at 64 percent while only 54 percent of IT managers reported being happy.
"Although IT directors are the most stressed, they might feel their work is more rewarding because they're often calling the shots and growing the careers of others, which might offset any decline in overall happiness due to stress," said Peter Tsai, IT analyst at Spiceworks. "Ultimately, it's clear happiness in IT is driven but a variety of factors and doesn't hinge on one single variable like stress or money."