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What challenges do Software Engineers face when looking after their mental health?

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We spotted a post on Reddit recently and it caught our attention.

The negative impact on employees’ mental health is a common problem, but this post brought that feeling home.

It mentioned how Software Engineers are suffering from too many meetings, particularly as they work remotely, leading to having to work overtime to deliver projects. Managers are expecting delivery despite a hectic meeting schedule, which leaves Software Engineers with no alternative but to work longer hours.

Software Engineers need to be able to manage their work/life balance so that their mental health is a priority. 

Setting the scene

How we work has changed dramatically in the last year. It was sudden, it was unplanned, and many organisations just weren’t ready for it. Teams of Software Engineers have transitioned to working from home yet are still being held to the same goals they had been tasked with meeting back in the office. Piled on top of this is the need to remain connected, with back-to-back meetings put in to check in on projects and people.

Noticing a problem? Yes, us too.

Eliminating the challenges

The pandemic has been harmful to many employees’ mental health. Over half of adults say their mental health has worsened during lockdown. A recent study shows that the number of cases of work-related stress, depression or anxiety is estimated at 828,000, with reasons being tight deadlines, excessive pressure, lack of role clarity or an unmanageable workload.

The continued build-up of pressures, from all angles has meant that working longer hours is becoming almost expected, which should not be the case.

In a jam-packed year, everything from work-life balance, technology requirements and career coaching to hiring and retaining staff had to be revaluated. The specific challenges facing Software Engineers and how they can push back on busy work schedules can be difficult to navigate. We know that:
•    Working in 30-minute sprints between meetings isn’t viable
•    Extending project deadlines is often out of the question

Some Software Engineers on the Reddit thread claimed to be under-delivering to highlight the problem. This is even more worrying, because it suggests those above them aren’t aware of – or attempting to relieve – the pressures Software Engineers are under. That’s why making change is necessary. Lasting impact needs to be felt within the software engineering community.

Lasting changes

63 per cent of employees say that working for an employer who provides mental health support is more important to them now than it was a year ago.

Thinking about mental health is just as important as physical health and taking steps to prevent ill mental health and promote positive mental health in a working environment is important. Employers should now understand that the issues employees face can impact their physical and mental wellbeing, and so it is the right thing to do to support them.

The expectation of Software Engineers is changing, and in turn, so is what they are looking for in an employer.

It's no secret that any job can bring stress, so it’s important to work for a business that cares about your wellbeing and mental health as well as performance. As the globe starts to regain normality and the working world has changed, employees will have a firmer focus on prioritising wellbeing when seeking new opportunities.

Your job shouldn’t be so stressful that you can’t enjoy it. If you’re ready for something new, give us a call on 0207 733 0430 to speak to one of the team about our exciting opportunities.
 

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