Burnout

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Burnout is a syndrome resulting from chronic workplace stress that one has failed to manage.

We may think that burnout, due to work or even otherwise, is something that only happens to others. Studies show that the burnout prevalence rates are 69 percent in the workforce which includes teachers and medical interns.

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Time Management

It gets frustrating to become involved in our work, but to have a work environment that is not conducive to our deeper involvement.

If a workplace rookie (or even a manager) finds the working environment to be authoritative, opaque, chaotic or uncaring towards the employee, there is bound to be burnout, something that is increasingly common in software development profiles.

There are many companies that create a ‘road to burnout’ and there are some signs that point towards that:

  1. Criticising your colleagues, clients, managers for their decisions or actions.
  2. Having an impression of decreased work quality.
  3. Only doing the work that is asked.
  1. There is no sense of accomplishment, and work has lost its purpose.
  2. Lack of energy and decreasing will to go to work on a daily basis.
  3. Having dizziness, exhaustion, stomach cramp, headaches, sleeplessness and shortness of breath.
  4. Negative emotions and feelings towards work, bosses and colleagues.
  1. Overwork or overcommitment is a clear cause of burnout, at least in the case of software development, as it is an isolated working profile.
  2. Lack of trust from the manager, combined with a lack of authority or autonomy towards your work.
  3. Micromanagement from your immediate manager, when all decisions taken by you are questioned in a systematic way.

Our interactions with our co-workers affect us in various ways. There can be unresolved conflicts, abuse of power, bullying, harassment, and smear campaigns that we may have to endure.

The managers should check this in the one-on-one sessions and ensure that the employee does not face such kinds of harassment.

Knowledge workers, especially in software development suffer from an inherent absence of fairness, where the usual ‘tangible’ indicators of work like staying late at work doing overtime are rewarded by the managers.

  • A company with a generative culture ensures the psychological safety of an employee. The focus is good results, with shared risks, and all failures being accepted as a default. In such a company, one is not afraid to commit mistakes, experiment or express oneself.
  • A power-oriented company is where we find a lot of power politics, distortion, fear and threats in their actions, even though the words used by them describe it differently.

We as individuals have certain values, and if the company we work does not respect them, it feels like abuse. Our values have to be aligned with the company's values for us to feel motivated to work.

Example: If you are an animal lover but the company you work for is destroying the environment and the millions of animals that live in it, it would be hard to work for the company.

  • Do not isolate yourself: speak your concerns to your manager.
  • It’s a bug: As a software developer, see that the problem you have is a bug that needs to be eradicated.
  • Know your path: Meditate to find clarity and understand your mental state.
  • Your endurance levels: You need to be able to gauge how much chronic stress and pressure you can take, and understand that money and glory at the price of our mental health is not a sound strategy in the long run.

You can get clarity on your needs and requirements by asking yourself the following:

  1. What is it that you want to accomplish in life?
  2. What is the amount of money you require to be happy, without compromising on your mental health?
  3. What is your definition of happiness?
  4. Is being successful your happiness, or is sacrificing your happiness acceptable?
  5. Do you live your life intentionally and deliberately or it just happens to you?

Do something different and playful, like drawing or writing. Having a hobby provides us with a creative outlet and gives us a sense of accomplishment. It is good to just enjoy the process and not to make it another goal with deadlines and pressure.

If things are serious, you can see a specialist, or discuss with your loved ones.

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