Burnout in Software Development Demystified
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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.
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.
You can get clarity on your needs and requirements by asking yourself the following:
There are many companies that create a ‘road to burnout’ and there are some signs that point towards that:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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There was a time when I wasn’t even aware of the term ‘burnout’, but I would experience this every now and then. I remember telling my manager that I feel really tired and I am not able to concentrate on work. That’s when she said, “You need some break, Harsh! You seem burned out.”All these years, I have had numerous burnout experiences. But I am glad, that I have tried to figure out how to cope with it. Avoiding remote work burnout isn’t an easy feat or doesn’t happen overnight. But it can be achieved if you understand the ins and outs of it.