The State of Well-being in ITSM in 2022

Well-being in ITSM in 2022

In Q3 2022, ITSM.tools reran its “Well-being in ITSM” survey. This survey was last run in 2020 after the initial global pandemic phase. These 2020 survey results are used for comparison purposes (and a summary is included at the end of this article). For 2022, the pandemic-related questions were dropped, and new questions were added to reflect the move to remote or hybrid working following the change to work practices brought about by the need for social distancing in 2020.

Check out the results of the State of Well-being in ITSM survey 2022 from @ITSM_tools. #wellbeing #ITSM Click To Tweet

There were 133 survey responses, and please note that rounding errors have caused some percentage-total discrepancies in the various response tables.

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

The results are shown in the table below, along with the 2020 responses.

Response2022 Percentage2020 PercentageDelta
Not sure4%5%-1%
No8%18%-10%
Yes, for some IT roles41%40%+1%
Yes, for all IT roles47%36%+11%

The survey found that 88% of survey respondents think working in IT will get harder (at least for some roles). With only 8% thinking not. These figures compare to 76% and 18%, respectively, in the 2020 survey.

According to the latest State of Well-being in ITSM survey from @ITSM_tools, 88% of survey respondents think working in IT will get harder in the next 3 years #ITSM #Wellbeing Click To Tweet

Worryingly, the 88% is the highest level recorded for this question and perhaps reflects that the corporate appreciation of IT personnel has returned to the pre-pandemic levels found in the 2019 survey.

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

The results are shown in the table below, along with the 2020 responses.

Response2022 Percentage2020 PercentageDelta
Don't Know2%2%-
No14%23%-9%
Sometimes, but not enough57%53%+4%
Yes27%23%+4%

14% of respondents feel their personal efforts aren’t recognized by management, and another 57% state that recognition sometimes happens but not enough – a total of 71%. This figure is lower than the 76% reported in 2020 and so a move in the right direction. At the same time, 27% of respondents feel valued, up 4% from the 2020 survey.

It’s still not great, given that seven out of ten IT employees feel underappreciated. Still, the level of employee recognition continues to rise relative to the baseline 2019 survey, where the percentages were 83% and 17%, respectively.

Although the level of employee recognition has risen since the last State of Well-being in ITSM survey from @ITSM_tools, seven out of ten IT employees still feel underappreciated. #Wellbeing #ITSM Click To Tweet

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

The results are shown in the table below, along with the 2020 responses.

Response20222020Delta
What's "wellbeing"?2%1%+1%
Don't know/not really thought about it5%5%-
No26%42%-16%
Yes, in some ways53%43%+10%
Yes, considerably14%9%+5%

67% of survey respondents state that working in IT has adversely affected their well-being to some extent – this is an increase on 2020 but still lower than the 72% reported in 2019. In contrast, 26% have not experienced well-being issues, a significant drop from 2020’s 42% and below 2019’s 28%.

The State of Well-being in ITSM in 2022 from @ITSM.tools finds that 67% of survey respondents state that working in IT has adversely affected their #wellbeing to some extent. #ITSM Click To Tweet

It’s a backward step, likely again reflecting the end of the post-pandemic “honeymoon period” for IT. It means that two-thirds of the people working in ITSM roles have suffered from well-being-related issues. Some of this might relate to work-location changes, with this covered in the next question.

Q4. Do you feel that home working has adversely affected your personal well-being?

The results are shown in the table. This question is new, so there are no 2020 responses for comparison.

Response2022 Percentage
What's "Wellbeing"?1%
Don't know/not really thought about it3%
No53%
Yes, in some ways28%
Yes, considerably15%
I never work at home1%

When a one-dimensional view is taken, 43% of respondents state that home working has adversely affected their well-being versus 53% who say it hasn’t. It’s hard to understand what this means in isolation, and the data will be returned to in an additional ITSM.tools article that looks at the correlations between the different question-and-answer sets. For example, how this data stacks up against the general well-being data and a new question on where people prefer to work.

The State of Well-being in ITSM in 2022 from @ITSM.tools finds that 43% of respondents state that home working has adversely affected their #wellbeing. #ITSM Click To Tweet

Q5. Do you think that your immediate manager is suitably skilled to identify and deal with employee well-being issues?

The results are shown in the table below, along with the 2020 responses.

Response20222020Delta
What's "wellbeing"?2%-+2%
Don't know/not really thought about it3%3%-
No32%45%-13%
Yes, but only partially29%29%-
Yes35%23%+12%

Again there’s an improvement on the 2020 data, with a 12% increase in the respondents who think their immediate manager is suitably skilled to identify and deal with employee well-being issues. 32% of respondents believe they are not suitably skilled, down from 45% in 2022, and another 29% that they are only partially skilled.

Again it’s good news but with a caveat – while this is an improvement on the 2020 data, six out of ten employees think their immediate line manager isn’t fully able to identify and deal with employee well-being issues.

Six out of ten employees think their immediate line manager isn’t fully able to identify and deal with employee well-being issues according to an @ITSM_tools survey #wellbeing #ITSM Click To Tweet

Q6. Does your organization have suitable mechanisms for preventing and helping with employee well-being issues?

The results are shown in the table below, along with the 2020 responses.

Response20222020Delta
What's "wellbeing"?5%-+5%
Don't know/not really thought about it11%5%+6%
No2%24%-22%
Yes, but they need improving46%44%+2%
Yes36%26%+10%

One delta jumps out in this data set – that the “No” responses have dropped from 24% to 2%. This change hopefully represents organizations’ increased focus on employee well-being, whether they work in IT or any other business function. However, only half of this delta is shown in the “yes” increases. Nonetheless, while there’s room for improvement, it’s still a great improvement.

When asked does your org have suitable mechanisms for preventing & helping with employee #well-being issues only 2% said no, vs 24% in 2020. #ITSM Click To Tweet

Comparing this data to the previous question is interesting, with the corporate capabilities again viewed higher than managerial capabilities despite both improving. This difference will be examined further as part of the correlations exercise undertaken for the next article based on the survey data.

Q7. If you work at home, or in a hybrid manner, how do you find it?

The results are shown in the table below. This question is new, so there are no 2020 responses for direct comparison.

Response2022
I prefer being away from the office60%
I prefer being in the office17%
I've no preference21%
I always work in the office2%

The survey found that three-fifths of employees prefer to be away from the office, while another fifth have no preference. These figures match what was a similar question in 2020 (see the 2020 results below). It’s also interesting that only 2% of respondents only work in the office.

The real value of this question will come from the correlations, where we can see whether there are significant differences between work locations when it comes to well-being issues.

According to the State of Well-being in ITSM survey from @ITSM_tools when it comes to working locations, three-fifths of employees prefer to be away from the office, while another fifth have no preference. #ITSM #Wellbeing Click To Tweet

What it means for Well-being in ITSM

It’s hard to say without deeper analysis, especially because there are conflicting insights, where some questions highlight improvements and others the reverse.

What can be concluded from the survey data in this format is that the IT industry still appears to have serious issues with employee well-being and a workforce that’s expecting jobs to get harder despite the introduction of time- and labor-saving technologies.

Please look out for the follow-up article, where the additional analysis based on the correlations between the different questions will hopefully give more insight into the state of well-being in ITSM and what can be done to improve things.

Survey results from @ITSM_tools show that the IT industry still appears to have serious issues with employee #wellbeing and a workforce that’s expecting jobs to get harder despite the introduction of time- and labor-saving technologies.… Click To Tweet

What do you make of these latest well-being in ITSM survey results? Is the IT industry doing enough to address the issues? Please let me know in the comments.

The 2020 survey results in summary

  • 76% of respondents thought working in IT would get harder in the next three years (at least for some roles). Only 18% thought not.
  • 23% felt their personal efforts weren’t recognized, and another 53% that it sometimes happened but not enough.
  • 52% of respondents stated that working in IT had adversely affected their well-being to some extent. 9% considerably.
  • 45% of respondents felt their immediate manager was not suitably skilled to identify and deal with employee well-being issues. Another 29% thought that they were only partially skilled.
  • 24% felt their employer doesn’t have suitable mechanisms for preventing and helping with employee well-being issues. Another 44% thought they needed improving.
  • 20% of survey respondents preferred to work in the office. 60% preferred home working, although just over a third needed to return to office-based working. 17% had no preference either way.
Stephen Mann

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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