Celebrating our unsung heroes
in IT

As we rightfully celebrate healthcare workers, educators, and other heroes of the coronavirus pandemic, we should also recognize the IT staff who have stepped up to keep us productive during a global crisis.  

ARTICLE | 5m read
December 8, 2020

During a crisis, we crave stability. We want all the technology we count on to work, allowing us to create, to communicate, and to collaborate just as we did before everything changed. When all that tech works without a problem, it’s easy to forget all the effort that made that possible. And when that tech doesn’t work, it’s even easier to get frustrated with those responsible for supporting it. But behind all the technology we rely on, there are human beings putting in a lot of time and energy to enable the work experience we need. And without them, none of it would happen.

It’s time to recognize IT workers and the herculean efforts they have made since March to support organizations and coworkers during the Covid-19 pandemic. This recognition should begin with public thanks and celebratory messages for our IT staff during these challenging times. But beyond that, it’s vital for company leaders to also examine how they can best support digital wellness and mental health for the unsung heroes of IT—and their entire organization.

How IT workers have stepped up during the Covid-19 pandemic

AT THE HEIGHT OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC, WE OBSERVED THE IMMEDIATE TRANSITION TO WORKING FROM HOME FOR ORGANIZATIONS AROUND THE WORLD. FOR SOME ORGANIZATIONS, THIS WAS A FIVE-YEAR TRANSFORMATION CRAMMED INTO A FEW WEEKS – A ONCE IMPOSSIBLE TASK, MADE POSSIBLE BY THE HARD-WORK AND EXPERTISE OF IT PROFESSIONALS.

Safi Obeidullah
Field CTO
Citrix

Think about everything that goes into an enterprise-wide transition to remote working. Work devices need to be distributed and authorized. Wide area networks need to be optimized and made secure. Cloud applications need to be available essentially everywhere, with high performance assured regardless of an employee’s internet connection. Your IT team made all this happen through long hours and quick thinking, enabling you and your employees to be productive even during a global pandemic.

But all this productivity and achievement came at a cost. 77 percent of IT teams have reported high stress levels since social distancing began, and their levels of mental distress have been higher than even those who are unemployed during the crisis. Your IT team has shouldered a lot of extra work because they knew your organization was depending on them. They went above and beyond to equip us for success and to fix technology problems that might have disrupted our work—and for that, IT workers deserve our heartfelt thanks.

Three ways to support digital wellness for IT staff

Even as we hear good news about coronavirus vaccines that may help reopen shared offices, IT staff still face a long road ahead. This means our IT teams need more than a public “thank you.” They need company leaders to look for new ways to support their digital wellness over the coming months. Here are three ways you can better enable your IT team:

  1. Recognize IT teams’ sacrifice and listen to their needs. Transparency in communication is always vital for company leaders, especially when your IT team has been working hard. Begin by asking IT managers and employees how you can better support their mental health during and after work hours. This not only shows you recognize how hard they’ve been working, but also that you value their input on what they need to keep performing at a high level.
  2. Elevate IT administrators to become company decision makers. A huge part of empowering your IT team toward greater wellness is increasing their feelings of agency. This means giving IT a place at the table when high-level decisions are made in your organization. For example, be sure to include IT leaders when you choose what new technology to adopt, decide how employees will be trained to use new tools, and determine your quarterly budgets for company resources.
  3. Prioritize balanced work. There are only so many hours in a day, and your IT teams can’t spend too many of them “always on” without facing burnout. Make it clear to both IT workers and other employees that your organization values balance between focused work time and open whitespace hours. This ensures your employees have set times in the workday to unplug and think instead of always shifting to the next task.

Make digital wellness a priority for everyone

The ongoing pandemic will continue to challenge and surprise us. Even as we celebrate the contributions of IT workers, it is just as important to communicate to all employees that we are in this together. The more your organization can prioritize digital wellness for every employee, the more we can move forward during this difficult time as a team. This will help everyone thrive and grow by appreciating and supporting each other toward a happier future.

For more information about how IT leaders are navigating the rapid changes in the wake of Covid-19, see these Pulse survey results.

Mindfulness Tip
Solve

Studies show that sound can enhance cognitive performance and even boost IQ test results by firing the nerve cells to the right half of the cerebral cortex (which is responsible for critical thinking). Press play to get to work.

Explore more on The Sound Sanctuary
Partnership with Washington Post

BIULETYN

Najnowsze badania, analizy i historie z serwisu Fieldwork firmy Citrix.