Nearly 60% of tech workers suffer from burnout, new poll says
- Nearly 60% of tech workers suffer from on-the-job burnout, according to Blind's analysis of 11,487 responses from its online community. Blind, an anonymous feedback app platform, cites the results of other burnout studies, such as a Kronos Incorporated and Future Workplace poll in which HR leaders attribute 20% to 50% of their annual turnover to burnout and a Harvard Business School study that sets the estimated healthcare cost of burnout at up to $190 billion a year, to show that such results shouldn't be unexpected.
- Other key results from the Blind study found that the burnout rate for 25 out of 30 tech companies is 50% or higher and only five companies surveyed have an employee burnout rate below 50%.
- The highest percentage of burned-out workers (nearly 71%) are at Credit Karma, while Netflix has the lowest burnout rate, at about 39%. Along with Netflix, the tech companies with the lowest burnout rates were PayPal, Twitter, Facebook and Uber.
Tech jobs are among the highest in demand and therefore the pressure that comes with them isn't surprising. But burnout that's out of control can lead to serious physical and psychological problems, which studies say can include depression, coronary disease, insomnia, substance abuse and other chronic illnesses — leading to high healthcare costs for employer and employee alike.
Most employers know the costs of burnout, but getting it under control is another story. HR leaders in the Kronos study said the barriers to ridding the workplace of burnout include too many competing priorities (20%), a lack of executive support (14%) and outmoded HR technology (20%). HR can take the lead in minimizing the devastating effects of burnout on workers and the high costs it incurs.
HR also can enlist the support of managers to get at the root causes of burnout. Resolution might entail reviewing workloads and lightening them, if necessary; encouraging workers to take allotted vacations and other time off; offering benefits that directly address stressful situations, such as stress management and mental and financial well-being programs; and referring workers to employee assistance programs (EAPs). Although EAPs aren't always the first resource workplaces turn to for help with employee burnout, a 2017 study from Chestnut Global Partners (CGP) and the Employee Assistance Professionals Association (EAPA) found that employees' health, satisfaction and productivity improved following EAP counseling.
To solve burnout, employers are going to have to be proactive and understand how and why their company culture may (perhaps accidentally) encourage overwork. HR can lead that charge.