It is a known fact that unemployment rates in IT
are always lower than national average resulting in stiff competition for
software professionals. Hence, knowing what makes IT pros happy will be
valuable information for businesses.
Spiceworks did just that. They conducted a survey
of nearly 1300 IT professionals to identify and rank
factors linked to job satisfaction. Spiceworks found that 64% IT job seekers
were planning to look for another job in 2017 to earn a more competitive
Money is definitely a major part of the decision
making process regarding a new job. But is money the one and only reason for
their happiness? What could be other factors and what would top the list?
Results show factors such as vacation time,
telecommuting and work hours definitely play a role in satisfaction levels but
topping the list is quality of relationships with coworkers. 61% respondents
stated that how well they get along with their managers, peers and users is a
top driver of job satisfaction.
Though relationships topped the list, good money
also played an important role. Survey results showed that stress and monetary
compensation tied for the second place. It is widely accepted that money is the
only reason for changing jobs but IT pros have recognized that money alone
cannot buy happiness but it can surely help.
Good relationships doesn’t sound very different
from what most people desire in their personal lives as well. Sound
relationships sometimes help to tide over other challenges. At work, congenial
atmosphere translates to less back-stabbing, more cooperation, more laughter,
effective team work and problem solving, higher productivity and most important
of all less stress. Who would not want such a work environment? This can be a
big motivation factor that could make professionals think twice before looking
for another job.
What are the other reasons that affect happiness
As mentioned earlier, money bagged the second
place. In some cases, salary is number one reason for their satisfaction and
happiness. But survey findings were interesting. Spiceworks data implied that
IT pros in smaller companies are happier even though their salaries are almost
8% less than those in large enterprises. This proves money is not everything
where job satisfaction is concerned.
IT pros are happy in an environment where there
is less stress, small teams, great rapport with everyone, where management
listens, considers IT as a partner and takes their recommendations seriously
and provides a sense of making a contribution.
Spiceworks’ results also indicate that job title influences stress
levels and happiness. Higher the responsibility, higher is the stress level.
This is true of all professions. But Spiceworks’ survey was with respect to IT positions and
their findings are:
- Director title or higher are the most stressed - 54%
reported being stressed to extremely stressed.
- IT managers - 44% reported similar levels of stress.
- Network and Systems Administrators – only 28% indicated
being stressed to extremely stressed.
- Help Desk Technicians – only 21% reported similar
levels of stress
Interesting fact is that though the Directors experienced highest
level of stress, they were also found to be the happiest group. High stress
does not necessarily mean unhappiness. The Directors were happier perhaps
because of the responsibilities they held. They found their work more rewarding
because they were in command, were helping others to grow in their careers, and
were also paid more than their coworkers. All of which might offset any decline
in overall happiness due to stress.
Size of The Company
Another factor was size of the company in influencing happiness.
According to the survey results, the percentages of employees
reported being happy to extremely happy was as follows:
- Small companies with fewer than 100 employees: 66% of
businesses (company size between 100-999 employees):
approximately 62% of tech workers
- Large companies with more than 1,000 employees: only
55% of IT pros
This is because in smaller companies, it is often easier to build
relationships with coworkers and work as a team where everyone contributes to
the success of the organization. In bigger companies, it is not possible to
have personal relationships with everyone, and cohesiveness is
Based on this data, one can conclude that job satisfaction and
happiness is not based on a single factor but is determined by a combination of
Even though relationships with coworkers topped the list in
influencing happiness at the workplace, not all IT pros will agree and each one
may have a different reason or combination of reasons that contributes to their
satisfaction and happiness.
This survey provides insights into factors that contribute to
happiness at work and the type (size) of companies that may be more conducive
in providing that environment.
Software engineers can then based on their own combination of
factors target the right type of companies where they can build a career.
Moreover survey results also provide some guidelines to employers to design
their strategies to retain tech professionals.