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Many IT Workers on Call This Holiday Season

December 27, 2013

Delivery drivers for UPS and FedEx didn’t work on Christmas – leaving many customers annoyed they didn’t get presents delivered to friends and relatives by the holiday.

The drivers weren’t the only ones not working around the holidays. The Workforce Institute at Kronos and Harris Interactive (News - Alert) did a survey which found that 38 percent of full-time workers took off Christmas Eve in 2012. In addition, some 26 percent of full-time workers said their workplaces were closed between Christmas and New Year's Day last year. Compare that to 14 percent of workers who took Christmas Eve off in 2007.

And what did the employees do during the month of December last year – based on the survey? Some 17 percent said the month was busiest of the year for their workplace. On the other hand, some 15 percent said workplaces resembled "a ghost town."

Many employees are working on or are on-call during the holidays. Emergency crews are braving the cold to get power back on in the United States and Canada after a nasty ice storm. Police, firefighters, EMS crews and health-care providers are working as well. Emergencies never stop.

Interestingly, IT pros will be on call this holiday season, too. Much of the work is expected to relate to remote network access problems and other glitches, according to a report from Network Computing based on an Ipswitch (News - Alert) survey.

In fact, a survey of more than 140 IT professionals conducted by Ipswitch found that 46 percent will be on call during the holiday season.

What will they be working on? Some 51 percent will help users who need to access their networks remotely. Another 26 percent will deal with inadequate app performance. Still, 17 percent will help those who have forgotten passwords.

And it’s clear there’s a need. The survey showed about a third of those responding said they saw “a major network outage during previous holiday seasons,” the report said.

“Even the holidays can’t provide a brief respite for many hardworking IT pros,” Ennio Carboni, president of Ipswitch's network management division, said in a statement. “They may be giving up downtime with friends and family to make sure your networks have uptime.”

It was also found that 39 percent of IT administrators surveyed spend between 40 and 60 percent of their time responding to user problems. Another 21 percent of the administrators spend even more time on those efforts.

So the survey showed that 56 percent of the respondents said they want to spend less of 2014 dealing with network problems, and 11 percent want to see less network problems from bring your own devices (BYODs).

IT pros want a happy holiday season, too. 

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

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