How Typical Is Burnout Among Tech Workers?

Employees at major tech start-ups are experiencing burnout at an alarming rate. Foosball tables, snack rooms, and meditation pillows–apparently aren’t helping.

We at BLIND recently polled employees from over 35 tech start-up brands with the question: “Are you experiencing burn-out on the job?”

The answer, surprisingly enough, put a line in the sand over which companies were actually creating a healthy “work/life balance” and which were “pushing the grind,” behind the hip corporate office veneer.

Out of the 35 tech giants surveyed, Reddit had the least amount of burn-out versus Postmates with the highest amount of burn-out. Anonymous communities for the win, right?

Study also showed that rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft fell right in the middle of the survey with a 52.99% and 55.81% employee burn-out rate of those polled.

So what makes a tech employee more susceptible to burn-out?

Are certain industries more prone to creating stressful work environments than others or is it the company?

Interestingly enough, employee burnout when looked at deeper is a crisis caused by the company and not the individual or any given industry.

According to Eric Garton, the co-author of Time, Talent and Energy, he notes that companies with high burnout rates are usually characterized by excessive collaboration, poor time management strategies, and an inclination to overwork the most capable of employees. The workforce in these organizations is assigned complex tasks with minimal timelines to deliver on the errand assigned.

This matter then makes the employees frustrated and apathetic overtime thereby leading to burnout.

Something which can affect any industry.

When addressing how to prevent your company from creating a culture that is susceptible to burn-out two main strategies come up:

A manager should state the level of expected performance when assigning tasks.

Mismatched expectations and standards can lead to communication breakdowns and cause a distorted view of employee/manager relations and capabilities. Stating clearly what the expectations are, gives a clear goal and standard to reach without too many assumptions falling into place.

The timeline allocated should be reasonable and easily met without much strain to avoid frustration and burn-out. 

In a 24/7 digital space we are expected to constantly be doing and outputting new content, products, services, and ideas. Which is a great thing! But tech doesn’t mean human robots (at least not yet!). Giving your workforce space to create and build can still keep the needle moving without added frustration and burn-out.

Overall, what we’re discovering from the data is the importance of taking time to nourish your workforce and giving them space to recuperate their energy and mental stamina. This doesn’t just lead to more productivity and hitting your bottom-line, but it also gets to the root of what makes a workplace culture thrive at its core–happy employees.

Create an environment that supports employee creativity, health, happiness, and sense of wellbeing at the CORE. Fix the root issues and address expectations and timelines –foosball tables, meditation rooms, and shiny offices are just a nice cherry on top!

Is overworking the new “workplace culture?” Share your thoughts anonymously on our platform BLIND

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