Technology is continuously shaping the world we live in at breakneck speed. It’s not the tech itself driving change however, it’s the people behind the tech who are propelling innovation forward. Those of us in the IT industry are well accustomed to the non-stop, fast-paced work environment created by this propulsion. But what happens when we focus so heavily on increasing our work output we neglect the fact that we are human? Are we celebrating busy-ness at the expense of our mental health?
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 20.6% of U.S. adults experience mental illness, with anxiety disorders and depression as the most prevalent. Data collected by OSMI— an organization focused on mental health in the tech community—tells a similar but slightly different story. 41.8% of adults working in tech or IT have a mental health disorder, essentially double the national average. To deepen the issue further, note that both of these statistics are based on 2019 data and do not account for the widespread and unforgiving impact of a global pandemic.
IT Mental Health Matters
Exhaustion, burnout, depression. These are concepts many of us experienced pre-pandemic, and have likely experienced since. The rapid transition to remote work made 2020 a highly stressful year for IT admins, and we all have had to deal with the ramifications of no longer being in office with our co-workers. Our mental health and the pursuit of a healthy work-life balance have been tested by:
- A lack of separation between home and work
- Back to back meetings and Zoom fatigue
- The feeling of being “always on” and unable to unplug
- Insufficient time to make personal connections
- Many other obstacles unique to each individual
There has to be a better way forward. When we brush past our human needs, we limit health, personal success, and organizational success. Untreated stress creates mental clutter and leads to mental health disorders. We can only show up to work as the intelligent, creative, analytical, innovative people we are when our mental state is taken care of. Let’s normalize the conversation around mental health in the workplace.
Join us for a live webinar on Tuesday, June 8th at 11am ET for a frank (and much-needed) discussion led by Former VP of IT & Startup Founder Zachary Boewer and mental health Clinician and Change Management Expert Britten Devereux. We’ll talk about some of the challenges unique to the IT admin role, as well as the professional and emotional impacts of the past year. Devereux will also cover some concrete strategies and tools you can use to pave the way forward for your own mental well-being.