IT is facing a mental health crisis - how can it be fixed?

As technology teams face growing pressures, they're increasingly suffering from poor mental health. Here's how employers can tackle this growing issue.

Technology professionals have faced immense pressure over the past few months, whether setting up remote workforces or fighting an influx of cyber attacks looking to take advantage of the chaos surrounding coronavirus.

Consequently, their mental health has suffered. New research from global recruitment firm Harvey Nash shows that one in three IT technology professionals has seen their mental health deteriorate as a result of the pandemic. Previously, 60% of people working in the technology sector were concerned about their mental health, but this has increased by 16% over the past few months.

Bev White, CEO of Harvey Nash Group, says: "There has been a growing recognition over recent years of the importance of mental wellbeing in the tech sector, and a greater understanding of how widespread mental health issues can be in our ‘always on' world.

"Pre-Covid 19, employers placed more emphasis on providing the support mechanisms needed and creating an open environment where the stigma in discussing issues of mental health is removed. But the pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for communities, economies and business."

 

A mental health pandemic

A number of factors have been negatively affecting the mental health of IT professionals during lockdown. In its recent survey, Harvey Nash found that "not having any time to personally switch off" (46%), "worrying about losing their job" (41%), and "Always on technology" (33%) are the three biggest concerns, as well as working long hours, having an unsupportive employer and looking after a family.

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