Do Computers Experience Burnout?
Programming is a highly cognitive task, and the end result can be mental burnout. Programmers may feel as though they are in a never-ending death march, with no motivation to continue doing more. Their screens often contain many tabs, and they find themselves unable to focus on a single task. If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. Most programmers have experienced this type of exhaustion at some point in their career.
People who work with computers may also be subject to burnout, a condition known as technical depression. Programmers spend hours in front of the screen, and they’re often confined to a dark room. Lack of sleep and rest can cause serious health problems, such as insomnia and depression. It’s no wonder that programmers can become burned out. Fortunately, there’s a cure for programming burnout: a healthy dose of exercise.
A recent study by professor Christina Maslach, a psychology professor at UC Berkeley, looked at a group of 11,500 programmers and identified six causes of burnout. Burnout often occurs when employee expectations are inconsistent with those of their employers, especially when it comes to workload and control. Specifically, she found that burnout occurs when employees feel that they don’t have time for relaxation after a long day of work.
While there are many causes of burnout, it is most common when developers and programmers spend eight or more hours a day staring at a screen. This drains their energy and makes them look tired. Several tasks force developers to spend longer hours than they otherwise would. These long hours affect their health, and in the long term, they can lead to burnout. A recent study published in the Harvard Business Review found that programmers who work 80 hours or more per week are at a higher risk of burnout.