More Tech Pros Working Longer Hours


How many hours a week does the average tech pro work?

According to new survey data from Spiceworks, a network for the tech industry, full-time tech pros are putting in an average of 52 hours per week, while part-timers work roughly 21 hours per week.

More than half of respondents worked more than a 40-hour week, with 18 percent saying they topped out at more than 60 hours. “The long hours that many in IT experience aren’t typically conducive to employee happiness (especially if there’s not equivalent compensation),” read Spiceworks’ blog posting on the matter, “and crazy hours are a definite red flag that IT could use a little help and a good way to quantitatively show management that something needs to change.”

There’s a direct correlation between hours that tech pros work and the number of help-desk personnel at their organization; those who worked for companies with more support staff tended to report working fewer hours. “Anyone in IT can tell you that a big job related headache is fighting fires caused by end user issues, and now we have the data to prove it,” the Spideworks posting added.

Industry category was another factor; those tech staffers involved in construction, manufacturing, and non-profits tended to work significantly longer than those involved in healthcare, education, and government.

Tech-pro claims of being overworked and underpaid have persisted for years; even among comparatively well-paid tech consultants, the number of hours worked has steadily crept upward (albeit along with per-hour fees). Workload-related stress also has a nasty way of driving tech pros out of their respective sub-industries. Those pressures have driven some companies to pursue programs for better work-life balance among their employees.

12 Responses to “More Tech Pros Working Longer Hours”

  1. Stephanie

    The truth is not that tech workers work long hours, its a misconception. It looks that way, they have yoga and other athletic activities that they pursue such as company sponsored cross-fit from 9:00 am to 11:00 am most days, and then from there they get lunch at the office, then work until 5:00 or 6:00 pm and then play more games or sports with co-workers up to 7:30 pm or so and then go back to their work desk from 8:00 after they shower at work and then do some office work from 8:00 to 10:00 pm. That is the truth, that is why they are at the office so late. Then they pretend to be tired from a long work week when in fact they are just physically tired from all the athletic training they do 4 days a week.

  2. rageagainstyourbs

    What company do you work for? So I can avoid it like the plague.

    I worked for a huge multinational in 2005 where I was working at least 12 hour days for 7 days a week. In 8 months I got 3 days off (including weekends). I NEVER had time for the perks that you speak of, I spent the entirety of the time sitting in front of a computer. (I still have the time-sheets from this period as a reminder)

    I had a newborn at the time, had pressures to pay off student loans and for other family obligations, yet my employer frequently threatened my job if I left before my 12 hours or didn’t come in on the weekend. It is my belief that this period of my life is what formed the bedrock of the environment that led to my divorce. If I could sue my employer for this period of my life and any others that hold this attitude that we are screwing around, I would definitely do it.

    So you can take your misguided comment and shove it.

  3. IT consultant

    Stephanie your comment is ridiculous. I have worked in it for 20 years and I can assure u the hours are real . Midnight deployments that last 12 hours, debugging code until 1am in the morning. I wish I had the perks u mentioned. U clearly have never worked in the profession . I suggest u shadow someone in this profession and your opinion will definitely change. Pure garbage from your part

  4. All complaining about working long hours and late night hours need to find new employers. I’ve worked in both these environments and can tell you that depending on your role its a requirement to be on call when stuff breaks, when things aren’t broken you need to take advantage of your downtime. Remote working is very common among IT professional and the flexibility is there to go workout and do other things so if you working over 40 hrs per week every week then you need to better manage your time or work for an employer that doesn’t have broken products and processes

  5. Stephanie, wow, wrong wrong and wrong……I dont know what IT guy you hate, or is your ex, or what, but we consistently put in 50-55 hours a week (on a good week), work weekends, middle of the night changes, holidays..and if by lunch in the office you mean the half stale bagels that may show up once a month with no cream cheese, you have a serious misunderstanding of the word “lunch”……

    Either 1, you have no idea what IT does, and think they sit around and play video games until you call, or 2, you were in IT, sucked at it, and bash the profession. Either way, pure garbage in your post, if IT life was that great, this article wouldn’t exist….

  6. I work a lot of hours and know quite a few people in IT that do the same. We definitely are not doing yoga for two hours. I quite often feel lucky to get lunch. Doing upgrades and data moves during holidays is standard fair. I finally pushed back after years of 10 to 16 hours 6 to 7 days a week. The business hires for every group and expects IT to keep up with no additional head count. I push to get another admin and they literally look at me and state they do not need to hire any because I have always done it.

    When my wife left I said, just let me get through this one project then I can back off. She laughed. I went to the business and let them know that I needed time off and they only wanted to know how I was going to get the 6 projects that I was working on completed on time.

  7. Become a consultant. Over the past decade as a consultant I have rarely worked over 40 hours in a week. When I do work over 40 hours it is billable, so it just means a big check. I never have to do on call work and would require hourly pay for all on call hours, so it is never going to happen. When my gig ends, I find another job within a couple weeks, which gives me lots of variety and ensures I never get bored. I regularly earn $160k a year with benefits, while employees slave away for around $110k a year. I do not see any reason to ever become full-time, unless you are working for a startup and searching for a big payout. Employees are a commodity and it is only fair to start viewing employers as commodities rather than your masters. You should maximize your income and not tolerate working for free, which is what working over 40 hours as a salaried employee amounts to. I would be insulted if an employer asked me to do so. Would they give me their product for free? Start treating your employment as a business rather than indentured servitude and don’t let employers take advantage of you.

  8. I recall one project on which our manager posted each week the three metal tiers for overtime on a big wall chart so that everyone could see who was “stepping up”. Bronze was 60 hours, Silver 70 hours, and Gold was 80 hours. The expectation was that if you missed making at least Bronze every week, you would be gone. Bonuses and promotions were reserved for those who were Gold at least 50% of the time. And of course, putting the names up on the wall publicly reinforced the threat each day.

  9. Often I am lied to in interviews, just to get me in the door. Once there I am saddled with duties that were not clearly spelled out, and would typically be handled by multiple people with different disciplines.
    I am a specialist, yet am constantly asked to do things that are outside of my expertise. Without compensation of course.
    I average 50-60 hours a week… often working through holidays, or being woken up at 3am to troubleshoot.

  10. Former SAP Dude

    IT shops tend to be as unique as people are. I’ve done long hours, reasonable, and the Oh my God, these insane hours never have and never will end. In my opinion, it starts with the senior management. If there is no leadership at the top, but just place holders, then chaos is what you get. I have also worked in no nonsense solid leadership environments, and these are the IT shops that have very low turnover.

    And finally, in some companies, those jobs lost in the Great Recession, never came back. So 9 years later, the workload has increased 4 fold, and the headcount remains basically the same. Do the math.