A Canadian graduate school study suggests companies should start investing in IT-specific employee assistance programs and offer more peer support for technology professionals who are struggling to manage their stress levels.
The study, “Of Races to Run and Battles to be Won: Technical Skill Updating, Stress and Coping of IT Professionals,” also recommended companies look for optimism as a key personality trait when recruiting for IT roles that demand intensive and constant technical skill updating. The results of the study, which was conducted by a group of researchers at the University of Western Ontario’s Richard Ivey School of Business, will be published in an HR management journal later this year.
In the meantime, an overview is available.
Nicole Haggerty, an assistant professor at the Richard Ivey School of Business who worked on the study, said the research did not involve a large survey sample but instead focused on in-depth interviews with 14 people, which she said resulted in more than 100 pages of transcripts. Subjects were probed on the kind of workload they had, the amount of learning on the fly they had to do and the coping mechanisms they used to avoid frustration or burnout.
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