Burnout, Long Hours Still Problems for Technologists Working From Home

Seven months into the COVID-19 pandemic, and a vast number of technologists continue to work from home. And while many have settled into a comfortable routine, new data from Blind (which anonymously surveys technologists) makes it clear that a sizable percentage continue to wrestle with issues related to overwork and burnout.

Blind surveyed technologists at some of the nation’s biggest tech firms and found that a majority (!) are feeling more burned out than when they worked in an office. Indeed, only an extremely small percentage reported feeling less burned out than when they headed into an office every day, despite remote-work advantages such as zero commute and flexible scheduling:

Meanwhile, a majority at most companies also reported working more hours remotely than they did while in the office. That suggests that many companies and managers haven’t quite figured out how to help their teams achieve optimal work-life balance:

Throughout 2020, technologists at companies large and small have reported issues with burnout. For example, a study from earlier this summer found that Microsoft employees were working  an additional four hours per week, on average, and that they were “signing into work earlier and signing off later” in order to accommodate everything from homeschooling children to simply taking some exercise. 

Dice’s Sentiment Survey also revealed that, for a fairly significant percentage of technologists, workloads had increased as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. For even the most disciplined workers, such a situation can quickly lead to burnout.

If you’re feeling burned out, it’s imperative to talk with your manager or team leader as soon as possible. Given the nature of remote work, they might not be aware of the issue until you bring it to their attention. They may propose shifting your workload so you can free up some hours, or adjusting your “on” hours so that you can achieve better work-life balance. 

It’s also important to take the initiative. Make a point to schedule exercise and breaks; set your calendar so that your co-workers know when you’re logged in and available, and when you’re not working. When it comes to remote work, transparency and communication (even over-communication) are key.