26 percent of IT employees occasionally cause IT malfunctions on purpose, according to a survey by Service Management supplier TOPdesk, among 250 IT employees and more than 1,000 working Dutch people. This is offset by a large majority of 74 per cent who do not recognise this. Fortunately, resolving IT failures does turn out to be a source of pleasure for a significant majority of IT employees (76 per cent).
Emotions during IT outages
During an IT disruption, emotions run high. Yet IT departments indicate that they generally try to respond understandingly (30 per cent) on the shop floor. Interestingly, ten per cent say they react with a smile when a failure occurs. This is mostly done by younger IT professionals (22%) under the age of 35.
In the workplace, there is a remarkable dynamic surrounding reactions to the IT department. Although a large proportion of employees label the IT department as serious (47%) and understanding (39%) when they make a report, the reaction of employees in the workplace during an IT failure varies enormously. Almost half of employees (48%) react with irritation. Interestingly, part of the shop floor (26%) indicates that IT failures do not affect them much, in contrast to this, 19 per cent try to respond understandingly. What is even more striking is that 29% of employees take their IT frustrations out on the IT department and a quarter (24%) take out frustrations on someone on the shop floor who cannot do anything about it.
Thomas Burghart, Business Unit Director Central Government at TOPdesk: "Deliberately causing IT malfunctions is something we don't see in practice, but we understand better than anyone that IT malfunctions cause a lot of frustration. After all, we live in a digital age where we expect IT to always work properly. Furthermore, employees are often still unclear about where to file an IT report. This can lead to irritation. On the other hand, the IT department is regularly burdened with 'IT malfunctions' that employees can easily solve themselves. Therefore, make agreements between the two departments and implement digital manuals. This promotes employee self-reliance and reduces the workload for the IT department. Which ultimately results in job satisfaction in both departments. A win-win situation for everyone."
About the survey
The survey was conducted between 28 March and 12 April 2023 via two separate online questionnaires; one intended for IT (co-)decision-makers and one for employees in departments other than IT. A total of 250 IT employees -and decision makers active in organisations with 25 to 500+ employees participated, in addition to 1,010 Dutch citizens (aged 18 to 67) working or wanting to work in organisations with 25 to 500+ employees. The survey was conducted by Markteffect on behalf of TOPdesk.