Too Large a Workload?

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This editorial was originally published on Jan 30, 2015. It is being republished as Steve is traveling.

I often hear the technical staff in many organizations complaining about the amount of work they are tasked with managing. Plenty of technology professionals view their jobs are stressful, and I've had no shortage of people say they would never recommend their job, or even this industry, to others as a career choice.

That's unsurprising to me, which is a little sad. I've felt that we face a dilemma in this industry. Our skills are easy to acquire, with any of us able to learn new skills and gaining knowledge as quickly as we are able. Often, our ability to learn is limited only by the time and effort we put into understanding a skill, not any external factor.

However that also means that our employers seem to expect that we can learn without training, quickly, on our own, and that we can instantly be experts that make computer systems do our bidding. When we can't respond quickly enough, or as quickly as we did for the last request, our managers feel that we're just being lazy this week.

Perhaps we do respond quickly, and get tasked with even more work. This might not be the case for most of you, or even many of you. I'm sure plenty of you are in situations where your managers understand the complexity of your jobs, but I wanted to ask about your situation:

Do you have too large a workload at your current job?

By this I mean, do you feel you're not able to get enough work done in a reasonable work week and you feel pressure to work longer hours. Are your managers asking you to do more than you think they should? Or do they appreciate that, like many endeavors, working with technology takes time.

Certainly I think many of us could work more efficiently by automating tasks, but depending on the variety and complexity of tasks, as well as the amount of time you can invest in completing future work quicker, you might be stuck in situations that just require more hours. If that's the case, I hope your workload isn't too large, but let us know.

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