In July 2021, ZDNet reported on a study that showed 80% of developers said they were burning out. It wasn’t just COVID but also the rapid pace of innovation causing some developers to take on increasing volumes of work.
But we suggest that IT should give developers more work/life balance, and not less. Here’s why.
How Does the IT Field Have the Best Work/Life Balance?
You Have Control Over When and Where You Work
Software engineers often have the freedom to work from anywhere. Most have control over their schedule; not only are there IT jobs that allow remote work, four-day weeks, and flexible schedules, with the exception of a few meetings, most devs can do the work when they want and need to. So why is work creeping into weekends and evenings?
Too much work and not enough downtime are a recipe for burnout. The problem is that most of us live through our screens. It’s hard to shut down when work, games, movies, and social correspondence all happen on the same laptop. It’s far too easy to check in on that Slack ping at 8 pm when you’re trying to chill out with a video. Software developers must reassert control not necessarily by eliminating screen time but by stopping work at a specific hour and then sticking to it.
Why You Need Work/Life Balance
In addition to keeping you from burning out, work/life balance offers:
- Less stress in your life.
- Better concentration.
- More engagement at work.
- Tangible achievements at work and home.
- Better relationships with your loved ones.
- Time to pursue hobbies and enjoy your life.
- Feeling more satisfied at work and home.
If these are the benefits of work/life balance, how can you make it happen?
How Developers Can Find Work/Life Balance
First, take advantage of the shifts that work for you. Most tech jobs are 9 to 5. But say you write better code from 10 pm to midnight. Most tech jobs allow you to accommodate the time to work when you are the most productive. However, ensure you’re actually getting away from work for two hours in the daytime. Otherwise, your eight-hour day just turned into a 10-hour day.
Look for IT roles that don’t require on-call. Many network security or data center jobs require this. Instead, look for something where you don’t have to worry about emergency calls in the middle of the night.
If you get control of your daily schedule, the rest of the week will sort itself out. Consider time-blocking increments where you focus on one key task and do not respond to any distractions such as instant messaging or email. As part of this effort, work an hour into the day where you’re getting away from your screen (this means not looking at your phone). Go take a walk. Go get a coffee. This will help with eye fatigue. You can also set an alarm to stand up every hour to get the body moving—or buy a standing desk.
Ready to Find an IT Job?
All of these things can help you regain control of a schedule that’s run amok. However, sometimes, even these changes can’t solve the big problem of a heavy workload. There are IT jobs out there that can help you find balance. Check out our job board and give us a call.
WE’VE GOT ANSWERS:CONTACT US