From always-on work cultures to a decline in employees’ autonomy, increasingly demanding workdays mean more people than ever are suffering from job-related stress. And with much of the modern workplace now increasingly dependent on technology, few professionals and industries are feeling the pressure as intensely as those working in IT.
Recent research from GoTo found IT workloads have grown for around two-thirds (65%) of businesses since 2022 alone. This increase is having a huge impact on the personnel within those organisations. In fact, a new study of Global Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) found burnout and stress to be by far the most significant personal risks that they face at work.
Today, almost three in four CISOs (71%) report feeling job-related stress, a sharp rise from 59% in 2022. Meanwhile, over half (54%) suffer from burnout, another jump from the previous year’s 48%. It’s no surprise that 92% of businesses have begun to prioritise the reduction of burnout when selecting new IT tools and software. But what’s causing this sudden burnout build-up?
The growing responsibilities of IT
As we all know, the last few years have seen the world of work change forever. Connectivity and agility now top the list of the most crucial business attributes. As the need for technology becomes mission-critical, IT teams have had to double down to lay new foundations for business success, security, and survival. Their work has perhaps never been more intrinsically linked with the fortunes of their employers.
However, with this evolution comes a host of new, unprecedented demands and pressures. Alongside the need to facilitate working-from-anywhere capabilities and remote data security, IT teams are also facing tightening budgets and talent shortage challenges. With IT pros constantly scrambling to support their teams and businesses, resultant stress is causing sky-high levels of burnout. And if the burnout continues, these irreplaceable workers will be driven out of the industry for good. So, how can we turn the tide?
A transformational way of leading
Firstly, business decision-makers need to take time to rethink the roles of their IT leaders and professionals. Once upon a time, IT teams were somewhat of a silent, siloed enigma, beavering away in the background without complaint or interference. Now, they are an indispensable bridge between the C-suite and their entire organisation’s security and operational success.
Today, the transformational IT leader must be given the freedom to map out a future where smarter, more streamlined ways of working are prioritised. This approach can bring together the very best in both technology and people strategies. It helps to consolidate tech, automate workflows, and streamline processes, all of which will enable IT leaders to make smart choices that empower teams across the business. The transformational IT leader is now increasingly a people manager, charged primarily with helping workforces change their behaviours to comply with the working world of today. So, what should organisations prioritise on their roadmaps going forward?
1: Streamlining sparks success
The consolidation of tools and processes has become an increasingly popular strategy for SME decision-makers, as it promises increased productivity, lower costs, and simpler management. In fact, a 2023 report on SMEs’ IT priorities found that 83% of businesses now consider the consolidation of communication and IT management and support tools an important initiative. Crucially, this consolidation helps to alleviate the burden on IT workers, a key goal for 92% of the report’s respondents. It can do this by providing greater oversight and control for less money whilst increasing employee productivity – a golden triangle of outcomes amid the current economic headwinds.
When IT teams are provided when a comprehensive overview of operations, this consolidation of tools becomes even more valuable. By unifying status updates, performance insights, and important information in a single dashboard, IT teams can control, monitor, and resolve any issues without suffering from unnecessary added workloads and burnout.
2: Automation enables autonomy
For smaller businesses without the dedicated staff to handle administrative, customer service, or other time-consuming tasks, automation can be the difference between growth and stagnation. After all, automating menial, everyday assignments frees up employees to focus on more impactful projects that require detailed human attention and can move the business forward. Plus, simplified tasks and responsibilities mean that knowledge and workloads can be more easily shared and managed. Automation can even boost morale by helping employees work through their to-do lists faster than ever. For IT teams, in particular, automation can help reduce workload bottlenecks and their associated stresses.
As a result, built-in automation features are now considered critical when choosing new business software. Integrations with generative AI technologies like ChatGPT are introducing even more valuable automation capabilities across applications. AI chatbots can also help with IT ticket deflection and resolution, which would otherwise need to be opened and worked on by staff. Ultimately, AI tools can handle increasingly complex tasks with minimal input from humans—a perfect burnout-busting solution.
3: Collaborated resources power even greater impacts
Alongside the introduction of streamlined and automated processes, companies must also remember to pool and make the most of the resources already available to them. Traditional siloed in-office mindsets must be forgotten—for instance, a company with multiple offices can still effectively operate with one shared, consolidated IT team that looks after all regions.
50% of businesses use hybrid workplace models. So, implementing unified problem management processes across teams and locations can ensure faster resolution times when incidents do occur and significantly reduce the potential for subsequent disruptions. This pooling of resources and practices can significantly save costs, reduce downtime, and improve efficiency.
It’s why features like unattended access and multi-session handling are now considered essential. Remote access, in which IT pros can support customers and colleagues from anywhere, not only helps to minimise operational downtime and ensure continuity but also saves on travel expenses and office costs. It also drastically widens the talent pool—businesses can recruit top talent from anywhere in the world rather than simply those living near the office.
What’s next for IT professionals?
From lockdown to the ever-increasing inflation, a continuous barrage of uncertainties has long squeezed the budgets and stretched the workloads of IT pros. So, it’s imperative we help them in any way we can, from streamlining their technologies to prioritising their human needs and amalgamating resources to automating admin tasks. Ultimately, business leaders can then reinvest the savings from these efficiencies back into their employees or in Research & Development —beating burnout and prioritising their people in today’s fast-paced digital world.
GoTo makes IT and business communications easy, so its customers can do what matters most. Featuring flagship products GoTo Resolve, GoTo Connect, and LogMeIn Rescue, the GoTo portfolio helps securely support and connect businesses to what’s most important: their teams and customers. For over 20 years, the company has been dedicated to robust security, including zero trust authentication, and powers more than 1 billion remote support sessions and 1 million customers with easy-to-use, built-for-IT solutions that save businesses time and money. With over $1 billion in annual revenue, the remote-centric company is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, with more than 3,000 GoGetters across North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.