IT jobs market: Three factors that could spark a backlash among overworked techies

Troubling truths behind tech employment facts and figures...

IT staff saddled with increasing workloads could exact a heavy price on unprepared employers when the economic gloom eventually lifts, says recruitment expert Rod Jackson.

We may not have it as tough as the Greeks, but as the UK heads towards a fourth year of economic downturn, employee sentiment could be about to riot - as the impact of recession followed by an uncertain recovery makes itself felt in workplaces across the nation.

Why now? After all, there's a theory that in difficult economic times, those in work are grateful to have a job and don't rock the boat by changing employers.

IT employees

Those IT employees earning over £87,000 are the most disengaged and most likely to move on as soon as they canPhoto: Shutterstock

That sentiment might have been true in years one, two and three but it seems there is a limit to how long this resolve can be tested.

Year four appears to be a watershed. Professionals - and IT professionals in particular - seem to be running out of patience with their organisations, as they face up to the likelihood that the Olympic torch is more likely to arrive before any sustained upturn.

So what's fuelling this post-recession impatience and why is it affecting IT professionals to such a degree? As the world's second-largest recruitment firm, we've been able to conduct research among 1,642 organisations and employees to identify three key factors.

Factor 1. The spread-thin effect

Employees are creaking under the strain of having to work exceptionally hard over the past few years to keep their organisations going in a troubled economic climate.

Lower headcount budgets mean 23 per cent of organisations acknowledge their people are working at full stretch and have no spare capacity to achieve more.

Yet organisations also admit that, despite present workloads, they desperately need people to work even harder to increase productivity and company performance - an unsustainable tension.

For 60 per cent of IT professionals, this pressure translates into a dramatic increase in the requirements of their job and their hours in the past 12 months without any consequent rewards.

This extra workload is leading to huge frustration levels - particularly since...