Worker burnout is more prevalent than ever, and it can lead employees to experience negative effects such as stress, exhaustion, depression, and frustration. Do you see any of these symptoms in your IT workers? Let’s take a closer look at how burnout is impacting the IT industry and your IT talent, as well as some ways you can address it.
What is Burnout, and Where Does It Come From?
Burnout is going to be different depending on who you ask. It could take the form of cynicism or frustration, or it might lead people to call in sick to avoid the depression and anxiety that going to work might cause. Some people might be too distracted to work effectively, or they might feel disconnected from their role within your company. Regardless of how it manifests, burnout is never a good thing, and it shows up in different ways depending on the individual. According to a 2018 Gallup survey, nearly 25% of employees felt burnout… and that’s before the concept of the workplace became a lot more complicated and, in many ways, stressful.
In short, burnout is a form of psychological exhaustion brought on by conditions in the workplace.
The reasons behind burnout are just as varied and diverse as the feelings they might cause. Burnout is not simply about someone’s workload; it can be about uncertainty over their role, or feelings of inadequacy that come from being mistreated in the workplace. They might not feel like they have the time or energy to keep up with their obligations, both in and out of the workplace.
Lately, IT Professionals Have Been Hit Especially Hard
IT workers have displayed increasing levels of burnout in the workplace, as evidenced by a survey conducted by Yerbo, a mental wellbeing platform. In this study, The State of Burnout in Tech -- 2022 Edition, Yerbo collected 32,644 survey answers from IT professionals from 33 different countries between January and September 2021. We encourage you to review the study’s conclusions for yourself, but we’ve assembled a few highlights here:
Burnout Leads to Four Major Issues for Employees, Each with Their Own Impacts
The study’s Burnout Index identified four symptoms that are almost always on display by those suffering from burnout:
- Exhaustion is felt by many IT professionals with 62% feeling drained both physically and emotionally after the workday. 56% reported being unable to relax even when back at home.
- Self-inefficacy, something which can turn into chronic procrastination and Imposter Syndrome, impacted 51% of those surveyed, with 33% feeling inefficient at work.
- Cynicism was shown to decrease engagement for 43% of those surveyed, as well as causing 27% of them to lose sight of their purpose in the workplace.
- Depersonalization, also known as emotional shutdown, was reported by 26% of respondents who had grown harsh or impatient with their teammates, as well as a lack of sympathy in 22%.
Ultimately, the survey concluded that almost half—42.1%—of the IT employees they surveyed faced a high risk of burnout.
So, How Can You Help Reduce Burnout Amongst Your IT-Focused Employees?
You can make a difference in your employees’ ongoing battle against burnout, particularly where your IT department is concerned. Here are some approaches you can take.
Eliminate Stress Wherever You Can
This might be a little pointed, but if you can make your employees’ jobs easier, then doing so will go a long way toward easing their burnout. For example, you can give them more specific objectives, provide them with training on important topics or tasks, and create a supportive environment that encourages the use of time off.
Giving Your Team Some Autonomy
No one likes a backseat driver, and the same can be said in the workplace with supervision and autonomy. Give your team the ability to manage their own responsibilities in a way that makes sense for them. This can keep them engaged and motivated. It also helps to adequately compensate them for their efforts.
Provide Them With the Support They Need
If your IT team has too much on their plate which prevents them from addressing their countless responsibilities, then it makes sense to provide them with additional support that can make the workload more manageable. We can supplement their efforts with our managed IT services so they can focus on what needs to be done without worrying about routine maintenance or management. This will lead to greater success for your organization as a whole.
To learn more about what we can do for your business, reach out to us at (704) 665-1619.