Why Do IT Workers Get Bored?

Burnout can be described as a state of emotional, physical and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It usually occurs when an individual feels overwhelmed by the demands of their job or responsibilities and finds themselves unable to meet the expectations placed upon them in terms of time, energy and resources.

It may be tempting to assume that because you are in your chosen profession within the IT sector, you are exempt from the risk of burnout. After all, you could be a developer, an IT support specialist, a web designer or a project manager – in other words, you have achieved success. Is this really the case, however? While you may have achieved a great deal, it is important to be mindful of the symptoms of burnout, and to take steps to prevent it from occurring.

Despite appearances, burnout is a very real danger in all areas of work, including Information Technology (IT). In fact, a recent study conducted by Dice revealed that 31% of IT professionals have admitted to feeling burned out.

It is evident that this is not a minor issue. This implies that it is likely that you will suffer from burnout more than you think. Therefore, if you are responsible for hiring IT staff or ensuring their contentment, you should monitor this closely. Of course, if you turn more to IT staffing services, it is probable that you will have fewer cases of employees becoming burned out.

Yet, what really leads to burnout in the IT sector? Let’s investigate and see.

Constantly occupied in work

For those working in IT, it might seem like there’s no time off. They put in much too many hours both on and off the clock, which leads to burnout.

Reflecting upon my experience as a remote support technician at a service management company, I had to commit to forty hours of work in the office per week. However, I was often expected to work outside of these hours, which would often lead to workweeks exceeding fifty or sixty hours. This inevitably left me feeling mentally exhausted and in need of the weekend to recuperate before the following week.

When you’re young, it could be manageable, but as you become older, those hours can quickly add up to major burnout.

This means that learning to say “no” is an essential skill for every aspiring young IT professional.

Workload

Despite working only forty hours a week (including paid time off), there is still a considerable amount of work to be done. IT departments often struggle to focus their attention as they are required to manage a range of growing duties, from maintaining servers and routers, to managing databases and PCs. It is essential to remember that the smooth functioning of a business is the responsibility of the IT department, and thus all the above tasks must be managed effectively.

When a company makes a significant change, this could become a larger concern. For example, let’s imagine your business is transitioning from a closed-source to an open-source solution. This will require a significant amount of effort starting with planning and carrying all the way through to staging, development and eventual deployment. It is likely that issues will arise at each stage of the process.

As an employee, you have the responsibility to ensure that all of your superiors, colleagues, suppliers and customers are kept informed and up-to-date. On top of this, you now find yourself having to complete extra paperwork to document, organise and tidy up in addition to actually carrying out the labour. If you attempt to maintain this level of effort for an extended period, you are likely to eventually become overwhelmed and underperform.

People

It is possible that you have an affinity for interacting with people and enjoy making them laugh. However, there are two types of people you may encounter in the IT industry that could sap your energy far more quickly than anybody else.

  • Owners
  • Target Audience

Unfortunately, it is often the case that owners have the final say on any given issue. Whilst this may not be an issue under regular circumstances, the problem arises when most proprietors are not adequately educated in the use of technology. Despite this lack of knowledge, they often endeavour to give the impression that they have everything under control. As a result, they will not only provide advice, but also insist on specific actions even when it is clear that it is not achievable.

And yet it is your responsibility to bring about X.

It’s like being forced to hit your head repeatedly against a wall.

At the opposite end of the spectrum are consumers. While they may not intend to make your life more difficult, they inevitably do. You may frequently find yourself having to remove malware because a user has installed a malicious add-on (such as a Chrome extension offering discount coupons) or because they have forgotten their login details (again). End-users can mean that you have to spend time on activities that are not essential, like migrating servers or protecting a network, rather than focusing on the tasks that really require attention.

It is not only external factors that can cause issues; there may be disagreements between yourself, your colleagues, the administrators and the developers within your unit. It is important to remember that disagreements are a normal part of working life, and should be handled in a respectful and professional manner.

People. They are inescapable and a leading cause of burnout in the information technology industry.

Constant learning

The Information Technology sector is always changing and evolving, which means it is essential to keep up to date with the latest advancements in the industry. As soon as you feel you have grasped the knowledge and understanding of the latest technologies, there can be a shift in the industry, making it necessary to re-evaluate and start again.

It is remarkable to consider the rapid advancement of containers; they have gone from administering singular containerised applications to overseeing immense Kubernetes clusters. Furthermore, security is always a major concern. Just when you feel your systems and network are secure, a new attack surfaces and you are back to square one.

In the IT field, it is essential to stay ahead of the curve and keep up with new technologies and developments. Unfortunately, this often requires investing your own time and resources in order to learn and stay up to date, without necessarily receiving any form of compensation for your efforts. Therefore, it is important to devote adequate time and energy to self-education in order to remain competitive in this ever-evolving industry.

Burnout Is a Real Threat that You Must Constantly Monitor.

Burnout is a very real problem in the IT industry and these are just some of the most common causes. There may be other factors that could contribute to burnout that you have not yet considered. Despite the potential for burnout, working in IT can also be hugely rewarding and it is important to be aware that burnout can occur and to take the necessary steps to look after yourself.

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