As COVID-19 made working from home the standard, many technologists initially flourished. Tech pros are highly adept at adjusting technologies, so shifting to telecommuting likely wasn’t overly difficult. Plus, many experience higher productivity and efficiency when working remotely. Interruptions and distractions are typically reduced, promoting greater focus and accelerating workflows.
However, as time passed, the novelty of remote work wore off. Additionally, the nature of the arrangement can promote burnout, something that many technologists began to experience as the pandemic kept workplaces closed.
If you are wondering if technology professionals are feeling burned out more due to COVID-19, here’s what you need to know.
Workload Increases Boost Stress Levels
While being a technologist meant it was fairly easy to adapt to telecommuting, if it wasn’t something they’d previously experienced, it also led to increased workloads. Seemingly overnight, entire companies were suddenly working remotely, a paradigm that relies extensively on technology.
Plus, new security threats emerged. Along with a growing number of attacks, technologists also had to mitigate risk associated with some employees using personal devices instead of company-provided ones.
As a result, many technologists saw work pile up quickly. At times, this led to extended work hours, having to remain on-call, and other disruptive schedules that required more time working and less time off-duty. In turn, burnout becomes more common, simply because the tech pros feel overburdened.
Being Always-on and Poor Boundaries Take a Toll
Even for technologists whose workloads have remained steady, working from home can still lead to burnout issues. Since many professionals won’t be as vigilant about the time when they aren’t in the workplace, the tendency to put in more hours than required goes up.
Additionally, with their office always being a mere few steps away, an always-on mentality can become the norm. When a technologist figures that it won’t hurt to answer emails at all hours, their approach means there’s no respite from work.
Along the same lines, if a manager expects an employee to be effectively on-call because they are working from home, technologists may feel that work is inescapable. The lack of boundaries means work is never done, something that boosts stress and frustration.
Preventing Burnout During COVID-19
Burnout prevention should be a priority for technologists and managers. When an employee begins to reach the brink, morale drops, productivity falls, and the quality of their outputs diminish. Plus, it can lead to mental health challenges, some of which can be detrimental.
Open communication is often the key to keeping burnout at bay. Managers need to set realistic expectations and formal boundaries regarding working hours. Employees should be honest about their workloads and resist the urge to adopt an always-on mindset, especially if being on-call isn’t part of the job.
Ideally, managers and employees should agree on an arrangement. That way, technologists know what is needed, ensuring they meet expectations while being reassured that working 24/7 isn’t part of the equation.
If you’d like to learn more about burnout among technologists, the team at The Squires Group can help. Contact us today and see how our employee well-being expertise can benefit you.