Understanding Burnout Symptoms in Tech Workers

Work in the tech industry is very demanding. We pointed out before in our article entitled ‘Mental Health for People in Tech’ that this industry is characterized not only by long work hours, but also high stress and great pressure to perform well — all of which can adversely impact your mental health. Not only that, but they can also cause burnout, which is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a syndrome caused by chronic and unmanaged workplace stress. Sadly, we often fail to recognize when we are suffering from it.

That said, this article will help you identify burnout symptoms so you can understand this syndrome better for yourself and for those around you who might be experiencing it too.

The Symptoms

The following are some warning signs of burnout:

Irritability and indifference

Tech Republic notes in an article on burnout warning signs that being irritable and indifferent are telltale signs of burnout. Granted, getting irritated is a normal reaction — but if it happens more than usual or if you end up snapping at someone for the smallest reason, you’re likely burned out. The same holds true when both your attention to detail and job interest wane. This increasing detachment is one of the three dimensions of burnout, according to the WHO.

Exhaustion

It’s normal to feel tired at the end of your work shift, but if you feel drained just hours (or even minutes) after starting work, then you’re probably burned out. This energy depletion is yet another dimension of burnout, and it can be exacerbated by the long hours expected of you.

Cynicism

Negative thoughts constitute the third dimension of burnout, which is negativism. Being cynical will make it harder for you to perform well. So, if you find yourself constantly harboring negativity about your job, your abilities, or even your peers, especially when you’ve never felt that way before, chances are you’re burned out.

Physical Changes

CNN explains in a feature on workplace burnout that your body will give signs of stress, such as constant headaches, stomach pain, and neck tightening. As the saying goes, you need to listen to your body. These signs of stress underscore the holistic impact of burnout, and they are the body’s way of telling you that you’re suffering.

Decrease in work quality

Burnout can turn exceptional performers mediocre. That means missing deadlines, handling clients poorly, or passing substandard work. These are all red flags you shouldn’t ignore, as they are likely due to you being burned out.

The Solutions

Companies should take part in ensuring that workplace wellness is practiced and upheld. Fortunately, Pain Free Working details that more companies are now investing in wellness programs that aim to boost employee morale, productivity, and overall happiness. This involves offering a range of wellness perks, including basic but effective ones such as using more natural light and ensuring excellent air quality. Others are even offering fitness and health initiatives programs to ensure employee physical wellness and to prevent or minimize burnout.

You can also counter burnout by yourself. The Balance article on ’10 Ways to Deal With Work Burnout’ outlines strategies to deal with burnout. You can start by taking a vacation. Or if you’re not into traveling, then you’ll need to find a way to release stress, which can be anything from exercise and reading to doing art and listening to music. You’ll also need to find ways to get good sleep and eat healthy. Aside from this, leaning on someone you’re close with will work wonders as well.

Indeed, work in the tech industry is demanding. That means we are all candidates for burnout. But with a little more understanding of it, we can figure out ways to mitigate its effects, or even avoid it altogether.

Exclusively written for testwithnishi.com by Julia Brooke

<Featured image credit- @jeshoots via Unsplash>

AUTHOR BIO:
Julia Brooke has been working in the tech industry for over 6 years now. She began as an IT support specialist, before being promoted to IT lead. She now works as a web developer for a Kansas City-based startup. Cognizant of the demands of the industry, she wants to someday organize a support group for her peers.




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