End users do the strangest things, IT admin stress survey reveals

27 Mar 2013

An end user folding up 5.25-inch floppy disc in order to fit it into a 3.5-inch disc drive is only one of the most ridiculous things IT administrators have ever seen end users do, GFI Software’s second annual IT Admin Stress Survey says.

The UK survey asked IT admins about the most ridiculous thing they have ever seen an end user do and other responses included:

  • Employees using their DVD drives as cup holders.
  • A user complaining his or her mouse wasn’t working when he or she was trying to use a foam stress squeezer.
  • A user thinking there was a ghost in her PC when IT support staff accessed it remotely to provide support.
  • During a support call with a remote user, the user was asked what version of Windows he or she was running. The response? “I have patio doors.”
  • One IT admin recalled a time he was called to explain “if a zero was the letter zero or the number”.
  • The most common issues were users complaining of hardware not working, only for IT to find the device was either not switched on or not plugged in, along with users spilling tea, coffee and other beverages over their computers or keyboards and then denying they had done it.

Most IT admins looking to leave jobs because of stress

On a more serious note, the survey findings reveal that nearly three-quarters of IT administrators are looking at leaving their jobs due to on-the-job stress levels. This is an increase from 69pc last year to 73pc this year, suggesting a challenging business landscape in the UK and emphasis being placed on IT to help businesses grow and succeed.

The most stressful part of their jobs for one-third of survey respondents is dealing with managers, particularly for IT staff in larger organisations. IT admins also singled out handling end-user support requests, budget cuts and tight deadlines as their causes of workplace stress.

The independent, blind survey of 206 IT administrators in UK organisations with more than 10 employees was conducted by Opinion Matters from 5-12 March on behalf of GFI Software.

Tina Costanza
By Tina Costanza

Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic. She came to Ireland from Canada, where she had held senior editorial positions at daily newspapers in Ottawa and Toronto. When she wasn’t saving dangling participles, she was training for 10K races or satisfying a craving for scones.

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