Increased expectations see burnout on the rise among enterprise tech teams

Digitization and rising consumer expectations are having a major impact on the working conditions of technology teams leading to a rise in burnout and attrition.

A new study from PagerDuty shows 42 percent working more hours in 2021 than in 2020, and 54 percent of responders are being interrupted outside normal working hours.

Modern digital systems are complex and always-on, but as customers require more reliable systems, demands on technical teams increase, including after-hours and overnight responses to issues. These teams are made up of DevOps, ITOps and customer service representatives managing complex systems and multiple stakeholders.


The report shows travel and hospitality are seeing the most monthly incidents, with teams in the retail industry experiencing the most disruption. Fewer than five percent of respondents had zero after-hour alerts, with more than 60 percent reporting responding to off-hours alerts once a week or more.

The industries experiencing the highest number of team disruptions out of hours are: retail (62 percent), financial services (59 percent), telecoms (58 percent), travel and hospitality (51 percent), media and entertainment (48 percent), and software and technology (48 percent).

Jill Brennan, VP EMEA at PagerDuty says:

Those reporting their teams had seen turnover in 2021 also worked more hours. This cycle can easily continue; when employees feel burned out and leave, remaining employees often work more hours to compensate for the attrition; this in turn can cause the same burnout of those remaining, triggering further leavers, all contributing to a loss of knowledge and expertise. Recovering from this cycle can be a major, long-term challenge.

Respondents reported they were given less time for breaks between shifts plus increased job responsibilities. Teams that had experienced turnover in 2021 were also more likely to see increased critical incidents. This implies that as the cycle continues, organizations must expect more alerts and interruptions impacting their business. Our data shows that overall, critical incidents have increased six percent in 2021 from 2020. This may be the tip of the iceberg as the longer term effects from rapid digital transformation and remote working play out.

You can find out more about the study on the PagerDuty site.

Image Credit: Brian A Jackson / Shutterstock

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