Many people tend to think of jobs in tech as dream opportunities. The jobs are often well paid, have opportunities for career growth, and often offer flexible work hours and home office options. What more could a person want out of their job?
It turns out that the jobs in this industry aren’t always the “gold standard” many believe them to be. A recent Yerbo survey—and their complementary report, titled “The State of Burnout in Tech”— has shown that 62% of the people who work in the IT sector feel “physically and emotionally drained.” The same survey suggested that two out of every five employees have shown a “high risk of burnout.”
The study goes on to show that the tech industry has its faults like any other—and notably, burnout in tech is real. And so the question arises: how can we deal with burnout effectively so that people don’t feel as overwhelmed by their work? Keep reading to learn more about Yerbo’s findings, how to deal with burnout, and why it’s crucial to take action immediately for your personal and professional well-being.
What is Burnout?
According to the World Health Organization, burnout isn’t a medical condition but a phenomenon that happens due to “chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.”
The best representation of burnout has been given by the four-dimensional model that includes professional self-inefficacy, emotional or energetic exhaustion, cynicism, and depersonalization. These are considered to be the four “ghosts of burnout,” which burden employees and make them consider quitting their jobs.
Why is Burnout Prevalent in Tech?
Despite calls for change, “work about work” is still a challenge many at-home workers face. “Work about work,” which includes As already mentioned, the tech industry is typically considered a kind of role model for pay, career development opportunities, and flexible workspaces. However, the reality is slightly different. Employees in the IT sector often feel pressure to catch the clock and work late hours, leaving little time for any life outside of work.
Along with that, such time pressures often lead to mistakes, leading to more significant issues and extra work. When this cycle goes around for weeks on end, employees hardly have any time to take a breath and recover, which leads them to the early stages of burnout.
How Can We Deal with Burnout Syndrome?
The first step is recognizing the symptoms, some of which include:
- Diminished pride in your work.
- Losing sight of what you want to achieve.
- Difficulty being present with your loved ones.
- Frustration and irritability towards co-workers.
- Muscle tension, pain, fatigue, even insomnia.
- Difficulty concentrating and forgetfulness.
After you’ve established that you have one or more of these symptoms, you need to find the source of this burnout. It’s impossible to change something when you don’t know what needs to change. Burnout often relates to everyday professional triggers, such as the stress of a demanding job. It could also happen because of disruptive changes such as being overwhelmed with new projects or dealing with shifts in leadership.
Additionally, if you’re suddenly working on a smaller team and trying to do multiple jobs on your own—or “wearing too many hats”—that can also lead to fatigue and high-stress levels. That’s why it’s important to take a detailed look into your daily work schedule and note the things that cause you to get irritated or anxious. It’s likely that they’re also a part of the reason why you’re feeling burned out.
After addressing the cause of the burnout symptoms, it’s time to implement some tips that can help reduce daily stress.
Make Small Changes Immediately
If you feel like your schedule is chaotic and overwhelming, take a second to look at what’s on your plate and organize it.
For example, maybe your weeks are bogged down by ineffective meetings. In that case, a meeting organization and productivity tool like Docket can be used to better manage meetings with team members. You can collaborate on agendas, set meeting goals ahead of time, and automatically record notes, hopefully taking some of the frustration out of the seemingly endless teleconferencing.
Also, try to make a “to-do” list every morning and rank your tasks from highest-order concerns to lowest-order concerns. That way, you will know where to start, and you’re less likely to get overwhelmed from having to do multiple things at once.
Talk with People You Trust
Sharing your feelings with someone in a similar position or who has been in one before can help reduce some of the burden. Additionally, it’s likely that person has some good advice to offer. Much like venting to friends about personal matters, sharing your professional concerns with trusted peers or mentors can be cathartic.
In Conclusion: Set Boundaries
Udemy’s 2019 Workplace Boundaries Report found that “59% of managers feel pressured to work through lunch.” This invasion into precious mid-day personal time can lead to burnout over time.
Even though it’s not defined as a medical condition, burnout should not be taken lightly. Even if everyone around you tells you how great your job is and how lucky you are, don’t let that prevent you from recognizing your own needs or make you feel guilty for being stressed.
Instead, try to take care of your mental health and deal with the symptoms of burnout as promptly as possible for the sake of both your professional and personal life.