How Does the Tech Industry Contribute To Burnout?

March 8, 2021

Workplace burnout can be seen in many different industries across the board. This is a result of excessive and prolonged stress that leads to emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion due to an inability to manage stress properly. The negative effects of workplace burnout can spill into one’s personal and social life. This is evident in the tech industry.

What are the consequences of burnout?

Firstly, there are huge financial consequences for poor health at work. Workplace stress can cost between $125 to $190 billion annually in healthcare spending. Secondly, this stress is responsible for higher rates of job changes and quitting among employees. Thirdly, burnout contributes to approximately 120,000 deaths per year. So there are huge implications for businesses as well.

What makes the tech industry’s contribution to this phenomenon so important?

Workplace burnout is a growing issue. However, it seems to be more prominent among the tech industry where a rigorous workplace culture favours unreasonably high levels of productivity. This leads to longer weekly hours. Additionally, the industry’s top stress factors include poor leadership, unclear direction, work overload, and a toxic work culture. This can increase stress in the workplace.

How do we know this?

A message board app, known as Blind, provides a space for employees to talk about work-life anonymously. After surveying over 11,000 employees at 30 of the biggest tech companies, only just under 10% of tech employees answered that burnout wasn’t a problem for them. And over 50% of employees surveyed at the majority of these companies are feeling burnt out, demonstrated in the results below.

Why should we take this seriously?

Burnout is growing more common in workplace environments. Even though this is happening for many reasons, the tech industry, in particular, is getting slammed. This may be due to technology’s constant growth, a demand to have things now, and entrepreneurial mindsets. This also means that the expectations of employees in the tech industry may sit at a higher level.

Workplace burnout negatively impacts job performance and employee health. We can remedy this issue by acknowledging and addressing the cause of work-related stress and offering a solution. Furthermore, when companies address employee burnout, they can improve on a moral, financial, and operational level. So, let’s put in the effort!

The Tech Industry and Burnout

The tech industry is not the only area suffering from workplace burnout. Unreasonably high expectations of work productivity can lead to a higher number of (unpaid) weekly hours, overtime, and stress. This can occur in most industries. Offering de-stressors such as wellness initiatives, flexibility, non-work events, and access to counselling services can allow employees to feel appreciated. It also provides an outlet to better manage their stress and avoid burnout.

Ready for more? Read How Does the Startup World Contribute to Burnout?


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