Working From Home Doesn’t Automatically Solve Burnout

Burnout is real; so real it’s an official medical condition. Many think that removing employees from the actual office can help solve it, but a new study suggests working remotely may not be the salve many expect.

In its most recent study on remote work, DigitalOcean says those who work from home are actually more likely to experience burnout. Some 66 percent of remote tech professionals say they’re fried, compared to 64 percent who go into an office daily.

Those figures are a worldwide average… and things get worse. A staggering 82 percent of stateside remote-working professionals report feeling burnt out. When asked why they felt that way, 52 percent of remote employees said they end up working longer hours; meanwhile, 40 percent said they felt as though they were expected to contribute more.

Earlier this year, Harness’s DevOps evangelist, Steve Burton, underscored this idea of “over-work,” telling Dice: “Historically, the need to be available to address problems with deployed code has forced developers to be ‘on call’ day and night.”

Remote employees enjoy many of the perks of remote work (such as not commuting, the ability to work from anywhere on Earth, and time to run quick personal errands without disrupting an office environment), but it’s just not translating to mental balance.

Another reason for burnout amongst remote employees may be isolation. Though so many inter-office communication channels such as Slack or Microsoft Teams exist, 61 percent of remote tech professionals say they feel excluded from “offline team communications.” Forty-nine percent feel a lack of integration into a company’s culture, and four percent say they are “not able” to communicate easily with their team.

Dice’s own Salary Survey shows 35 percent of tech pros report feeling “very burnt out.” Thirty-six percent tell us they feel burned out because of a lack of recognition, dovetailing with DigitalOcean’s findings that tech professionals don’t feel in lockstep with a company’s culture when working from home.

Luckily, burnout amongst remote employees isn’t affecting their work-life balance. On a scale of 1-10, remote workers rate their work-life balance a 7.02; those who commute to an office daily rate it 6.57.

DigitalOcean places blame with the companies, saying: “While remote work options have become increasingly popular and more widely accepted among developers, companies must continue to support these workers to ensure they feel included, avoid burnout and maintain a positive work-life balance.”