UK IT workers have a worse work-life balance than their American counterparts, according to a report from PagerDuty.

The firm surveyed more than 800 IT professionals from the United Kingdom, the U.S. and Australia to find out how the ‘always-on’ culture is affecting the personal lives of IT pros in the three countries.

The study found that 36% of American workers in the industry reported an excellent work-life balance, compared to 15% in the UK and 16% in Australia.

This runs contrary to a general perception that Americans struggle with a work-life balance because of the comparatively few days off they receive. There is also a general view that Australians live a more relaxing lifestyle than Brits, which the survey counters.

Perception may play a role in the results of the study, with workers in the UK believing they are more capable of managing stress than those in the U.S. and Australia, despite reporting a worse work-life balance.

Nancy Gohring, senior analyst at 451 Research, said: “Just like poor visibility into application and infrastructure impacts IT¹s ability to improve performance, so does a lack of visibility into team workloads impact your ability to retain an effective response team.”

“New approaches to gaining insight about the experience of IT teams should help leaders better manage incident response and ultimately reduce staff burnout.”

PagerDuty’s country manager for the UK and Ireland and head of EMEA, Steve Barrett, commented: “This always-on, always-available world has become the norm for IT professionals around the globe. But it¹s taking a toll on the employees who have to drop everything to address problems.

“Without a healthy work-life balance, organisations will have employees who are either unable to perform to the best of their ability or choose to walk away. It’s time for companies to take more responsibility over the welfare of their technical and operational teams to help workers avoid burn-out.”

It is not only the workers who suffer. The survey found that the always-on requirements of modern IT work affected the family lives of 94% of those surveyed, across all three countries.