Research has found that technology workers are 5x more likely to be suffering from a mental health issue in comparison to other workers in different fields. Whilst up to 10% of UK adults will suffer from depression at some point in their lives, it has been found that over 50% of tech workers are struggling with stress, anxiety and even depression. This suggests that something is going wrong in the tech industry that needs to be fixed.
Around 13% of tech workers have reported that they experience emotional strains on a day-to-day basis. This strain is leading to headaches, lack of sleep and even panic attacks in some cases.
Due to the tech industry implementing a long-hours culture, it is not uncommon for tech workers to experience burnout due to an unbalanced work and personal life. Over 70% of tech workers feel that they are more worried about their mental health than they were before the pandemic in 2020. This is due to heavier workloads which are now being carried out remotely. Over half of tech workers have reported their workloads increasing significantly since the pandemic. Whilst their salaries appear to have risen, their mental health as a result has been impacted negatively.
Technology organisations need to develop a new model to increase employee satisfaction and take better care of their worker’s mental health. Studies found that around 25% of employers have no official protocol in place to follow if an employee is suffering from mental health issues.Employees have even reported that they wouldn’t feel as though their mental health issues would be accepted as a valid reason for taking time off in comparison to a physical injury.
Research implies that nearly 40% of tech workers are fearful of their job security if they speak up about their mental health issues. On top of this, nearly 20% of tech employees fear being judged by fellow organisation members if they speak up about their mental health. This signifies the need for businesses to focus on educating employees on mental health and encouraging more open discussions on mental health issues. This will encourage businesses to better support their employees as well as normalise their suffering so that individuals are able to self-identify when they are struggling.
Over the next few years, mental health in the technology workplace needs to be taken more seriously. Organisations need to encourage discussions on anxiety, stress and depression, as well as come up with new processes to support their workers who may be struggling.