Most people view Christmas week as a guaranteed time for days off. But a new survey has revealed that many IT professionals may not be able to catch a break this holiday season. Nearly half of the IT pros surveyed will be on call during the days surrounding the holiday. And it appears as though they may be even busier than usual as networks have a tendency to go down during and around Christmas, providing even more work for the professionals.

Of course, these workers -- most likely -- won't have to work on Christmas day but outside of that, many of them will be working every other day of the week despite planned holidays. In this sense, IT pros are unable to actually relax during the holidays.

No Break

Network monitoring software vendor Ipswitch conducted the survey with more than 140 participants. After compiling the data Relevant Products/Services, it found that a large portion of IT professionals will be unable to expect anything more than Christmas day off.

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

For the people that are not officially on call, 56 percent of the IT pros still say that they will be thinking about work while they are off. Since network management is arguably one of the most difficult tech-related jobs, it makes sense that many workers find it difficult to stay away from work and separate themselves from their jobs during their holiday breaks.

“Be sure to thank your hardworking IT pro this holiday season, as they may be giving up downtime with friends and family to make sure your networks have uptime," said Carboni.

An End To Fire-Fighting

Outside of finding out how many IT pros will actually be working or thinking about work this holiday season, Ipswitch asked the pros what they would like to see change in the industry once they get back from the break. The most popular change mentioned in the survey was that the workers did not want to spend all of their time fire-fighting. For IT professionals, fire-fighting means dealing with problems once they come up instead of preventing the problems in the first place.

"It simply is not necessary for the hard working, under-appreciated people in IT to spend their time fire-fighting problems on their networks -- regardless of the time of year -- when they would rather be planning. It is evident that many these problems could be managed remotely by network monitoring technologies which could identify the exact sources of problems to prevent issues such as server crashes and poor application performance," said Ipswitch's VP of international sales, Alessandro Porro.