The secret life of IT employees: Do you know what they want?

by Stephanie Zillman16 Aug 2012

They’re the mysterious crowd who oil the wheels of progress in every office in the land, but do you know what really makes them tick? How about the number one pet hate of IT workers? Or where they like to sit in the office? New survey findings have highlighted some possible errors in HR’s engagement strategy.

HR could be forgiven for assuming that the number one gripe on the list for IT would be constant troubleshooting queries – but it’s actually arbitrary meetings which waste their time. Some 58% of workers in this sector listed ‘pointless meetings’ as their number one gripe, while a further 21% said ‘unrealistic expectations from managers’ was an ongoing issue.

According to the poll of more than 1,000 employees run by recruitment firm Ambition, a third of IT workers believe they’re most productive in open-plan offices. Notably, just 14% said working from home would be effective.

What’s more, the archetype of the socially awkward IT geek in the basement is well out of date, Andrew Cross from Ambition told AAP. “The expectation now is that they've got to be better communicators,” Cross said. “IT workers were the ones we thought would want to stay on the beach, log on to a laptop and do their work remotely – well, they are the ones who have come back and said ‘actually, I prefer to do my work in an office environment’.”

According to Cross, one possible reason employees in this sector remain keen to work on-site could be as simple as wanting to be seen. “Because of the way the economy is, and the fear about being seen to be productive and delivering value – you know, out of sight is out of mind,” he said. “Perhaps being in the office and being seen to be productive is a way of ensuring your value.”


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