ITSM Well-being in 2024

ITSM Well-being

In early Q1 2024, we reran our State of Well-being in ITSM survey. It was last run in 2022 to see what had happened since the global pandemic and the impact of working-from-home strategies on people in IT service management (ITSM) roles. These 2022 ITSM well-being survey results are used as the latest benchmark for comparison purposes. For 2024, the working-from-home questions were dropped, with new questions added to reflect the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI)-based capabilities in ITSM.

The survey was promoted via social media, including the Back2ITSM Facebook group. There were 150 responses for the 2024 ITSM well-being survey versus 133 in 2022. Please note that, as with all focused surveys, there’s likely to be an element of survey bias caused by people interested in the topic versus those who aren’t.

This article shares the results of the @ITSM_tools latest well-being in IT survey. #wellbeing #mentalhealth #ITSM Share on X

Q1. Do you think working in corporate IT will get harder over the next three years?

The 2024 ITSM well-being survey results are shown in the table below, along with the 2022 responses.

Response2024 Percentage2022 PercentageDelta
Not sure3%4%-1%
No15%8%+7%
Yes, for some IT roles41%41%-
Yes, for all IT roles41%47%-6%

82% of respondents think working in IT will get harder, with 15% thinking not. These figures are marginally better than the 2022 survey, 88% and 8%, respectively, but they’re still not great.

82% of survey respondents think working in IT will get harder in the next 3 years. #ITSM #servicedesk #wellbeing Share on X

Q2. Do you feel your personal efforts, and your value to the business, are sufficiently recognized by management?

The 2024 ITSM well-being survey results are shown in the table below, along with the 2022 responses.

Response2024 Percentage2022 PercentageDelta
Don’t know2%2%-
No30%14%+16%
Sometimes, but not enough39%57%-18%
Yes29%27%+2%

30% of survey respondents don’t feel their personal efforts are recognized by management, and another 39% state that recognition sometimes happens but not enough – a total of 69%. This figure is lower than the 71% and 76% reported in the 2022 and 2020 surveys.  

It’s continuing to move in the right direction, but it’s still not great. If we convert the total percentage into people, seven out of ten IT employees feel underappreciated (and as with our previous survey results, this adversely affects well-being).

69% of survey respondents don't feel that their personal efforts are recognized by management (or not enough). #ITSM #servicedesk #wellbeing Share on X

Q3. Do you feel that working in IT is adversely affecting your personal well-being?

The 2024 ITSM well-being survey results are shown in the table below, along with the 2022 responses.

Response2024 Percentage2022 PercentageDelta
What’s “well-being”?0%2%-2%
Don’t know/not really thought about it5%5%-
No35%26%+9%
Yes, in some ways48%53%-5%
Yes, considerably13%14%-1%

61% of respondents state working in IT has adversely affected their well-being to some extent. This figure is lower than the 67% reported in 2022. 35% haven’t experienced well-being issues, up from 26% in 2022.

It’s an improvement, but it’s still an unwanted statistic. Close to two-thirds of the people working in ITSM roles have suffered from well-being-related issues. In terms of understanding the deltas (for this and other questions), the promotion of the survey and encouragement in Back2ITSM have likely removed some of the survey bias, where people experiencing well-being issues are more likely to complete a well-being survey.

61% of respondents state that working in IT has adversely affected their #wellbeing to some extent. This figure is down from 67% in 2022, but let's face it. It isn't still isn't great. #ITSM #servicedesk Share on X

Q4. Do you think that your immediate manager is suitably skilled to identify and deal with employee well-being issues?

The 2024 ITSM well-being survey results are shown in the table below, along with the 2022 responses.

Response2024 Percentage2022 PercentageDelta
What’s “well-being”?1%2%-1%
Don’t know/not really thought about it4%3%+1%
No37%32%+5%
Yes, but only partially28%29%-1%
Yes30%35%-5%

Unlike with the earlier survey questions, it’s not an improvement on the 2022 well-being data. There’s a 6% decrease in the respondents who think their immediate manager is suitably skilled to identify and deal with employee well-being issues – 37% of respondents believe they are not suitably skilled, up from 32% in 2020, and another 28% that they are only partially skilled. 30% think that their immediate manager is suitably skilled.

So, six out of ten employees think their line manager isn’t fully able to identify and deal with employee well-being issues. Given the investments that organizations have made in employee well-being, this is a scary statistic.

Survey results: six out of ten employees think their line manager isn’t fully able to identify and deal with employee well-being issues. #ITSM #servicedesk #wellbeing Share on X

Q5. Does your organization have suitable mechanisms for preventing and helping with employee well-being issues?

The 2024 ITSM well-being survey results are shown in the table below, along with the 2022 responses.

Response2024 Percentage2022 PercentageDelta
What’s “well-being”?1%5%-4%
Don’t know/not really thought about it7%11%-4%
No27%2%+25%
Yes, but they need improving34%46%-12%
Yes32%36%-4%

One delta jumps out in this data set – that the “No” responses have jumped from 2% to 27%, although they were 24% in 2020. In 2022, we attributed the significant drop to 2% to organizations’ increased focus on employee well-being. As to why this flip-flop happened, it could be that the increased corporate focus on employee well-being failed to deliver positive results. So, more analysis (and potentially data) is needed, but the root cause(s) might remain unknown based on the limited scope of this survey’s data.

32% of respondents believe their corporate well-being mechanisms are suitable, and another 34% believe they are suitable but need improvement.

Q6. Do corporate (rather than personal) AI capabilities help with your work?

This is the first of three new questions added to the 2024 Well-being in ITSM survey. Therefore, there are no previous results for comparison. The 2024 ITSM well-being survey results are shown in the table below.

ResponsePercentage
There are no corporate AI capabilities19%
I currently don’t use corporate AI capabilities35%
Yes, they help17%
No, they don’t help19%
Don’t know9%
Other2%

However, we can’t tell from the survey data whether the AI capabilities being used are part of existing corporate applications (such as ITSM tools) or bespoke AI applications.

What also can’t be understood is whether, of the 54% of the respondents that aren’t using AI capabilities, the choice of “no capabilities” is accurate (and is not a lack of awareness). Similarly, it can’t be assumed that the “don’t use” responses mean there aren’t any corporate AI capabilities (per the first option).

Even before we get to the well-being impact, the happy/unhappy split between the 36% of respondents who state they use AI-based capabilities is close. 17% report that the AI-based capabilities help, and 19% that they don’t. In many ways, this dissatisfaction with AI is to be expected with a spectrum of root causes, including:

  • Personal resistance
  • Inappropriate use cases
  • Bad technology choices
  • Poor technology implementation
  • A lack of suitable training.

Q7. Have you used non-corporate (personally sourced) AI tools, such as ChatGPT, to help with your work?

The 2024 ITSM well-being survey results are shown in the table below.

ResponsePercentage
No31%
Yes, and they helped57%
Yes, but they didn’t help9%
Don’t know1%
Other1%

The survey data shows that two-thirds (66%) of respondents have used non-corporate AI tools to help with their work, with 84% (of these) finding it helpful (and hopefully positively impacting well-being). This is nearly twice the level of respondents who have used corporate AI capabilities (36%). This is in itself potentially worrying for IT organizations across the spectrum of meeting employee needs through to data privacy and security, but the level of success is dramatically higher for non-corporate AI tools. Plus, how does all this technology affect well-being?

Q8. Has the use of AI (corporate or personal) improved your well-being?

The 2024 ITSM well-being survey results are shown in the table below.

ResponsePercentage
Yes15%
No change41%
No, AI has adversely affected my well-being6%
Not used it, but I’ve no concerns18%
Not used it, but I’ve concerns11%
Don’t know8%
Other2%

This final question requires further analysis to understand the perspectives of the respondents. For example, has the adverse effect on well-being been caused by corporate AI capabilities, free AI tools, or the sense of the unknown around the imminent introduction of AI capabilities?

There are two key insights, though. First is the 41% of respondents for whom AI hasn’t changed their well-being, 15% for whom it’s improved well-being, and the 6% that have had issues. However, as just stated, further analysis is needed to understand the reasons better. Second, for the 29% of respondents who haven’t used AI-based capabilities yet, 18% have no concerns, but 11% do. Again, the data needs to be examined to see if there are reasons for both perspectives.

Hopefully, these data points are helpful. The level of well-being issues in ITSM is still a concern despite the improvement on the 2022 data. Ideally, I can create a follow-up article that digs deeper into the data to provide more insight into the state of ITSM well-being and what needs to be addressed.

Further Reading

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Stephen Mann
Stephen Mann
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Principal Analyst and Content Director at the ITSM-focused industry analyst firm ITSM.tools. Also an independent IT and IT service management marketing content creator, and a frequent blogger, writer, and presenter on the challenges and opportunities for IT service management professionals.

Previously held positions in IT research and analysis (at IT industry analyst firms Ovum and Forrester and the UK Post Office), IT service management consultancy, enterprise IT service desk and IT service management, IT asset management, innovation and creativity facilitation, project management, finance consultancy, internal audit, and product marketing for a SaaS IT service management technology vendor.

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