The Four Ghosts Of IT

Bernardo Montes de Oca

Let’s paint a picture: you have ten employees, your startup is punching its way through the market, and things are going great. You’ve just landed a series B funding round that will secure the financial future for the short term, and all of this is good news - but you might want to take a closer look at your staff for one thing in particular. Burnout.  

Burnout is a harsh reality of the tech world. It's a competitive market that pushes the mind and body to the limit, but we're so accustomed to it that we fail to see the signs. Yerbo released a fascinating report on the State of Burnout in Tech. There's a lot to learn, and unfortunately, there's also a lot that we already know.Be it 10 or 100, 40% of employees have a high risk of burnout. Even worse, 62% of staff feel emotionally and physically drained. This was only one of the results that the Yerbo’s report produced, which surveyed 32,644 IT professionals from 33 countries. 

We've heard of burnout, but what is it? According to the World Health Organization (WHO), burnout isn't a medical condition, even if it can lead employees to seek medical attention. So, here's the most appropriate definition of burnout: “it's a phenomenon resulting from chronic workplace stress that hasn't been successfully managed”.

There are four general signs of burnout, and we have to look out for them. In 2005, Salanova and Schaufeli called them the "Four Ghosts of Burnout." Talk about a motivating name. They are exhaustion, self-inefficacy, cynicism, and depersonalization. It's common for these ghosts to present themselves in this order with. exhaustion being the most common, and depersonalization being the worst. 

Even if exhaustion is the most common, it doesn't mean you should ignore it. On average, 56% of IT professionals said they couldn't relax once their workday was over. However, the evidence is more concerning if you separate it by gender with 69% of women claiming they cannot relax after work. As for the other ghosts, numbers are just as problematic - one in every three IT professionals say they feel inefficient at their job, which is the ghost of self-inefficacy, and the same ratio applies to cynicism (the third ghost), as 27% don't see value in their tasks.

All these stats are scary; there's no denying it, but let's zoom out and look at the big picture. The Yerbo report came out in 2022, but this article came out last year, and this one in 2018. So, the problem has existed for many years, but we haven't found a solution. Why? Because we don't want to. Founders, managers, independent contributors, all want (or need) to keep working to keep that job. We need to make it big or just stay alive, so it's scary to show that we're tired. 

As founders and CEOs, it's our job to notice and take action. So, the next time you're in the office or on a zoom call, look around. You might see ghosts lurking by, and it's your job to exorcize them away.

What’s the buzz with robotic hives?

Bees are vital for our future. The problem is that the world is losing bee colonies at breakneck speed, in some cases, up to 40% per year. So Israeli startup Beewise came up with a solution: robotic beehives. They’re so advanced that chances are you’ll want to live in one. 

Each robotic beehive, called a Beehome, houses up to 24 bee colonies in the safest conditions possible. The Beehome can regulate so much that it seems almost impossible. Yet, the company has solved these challenges using AI and robotics. Beekeepers can even use their phones to check on the bees. With such promising tech, the world believes in the company. Beewise recently raised $80 million to meet the rise in demand in recent months. So, while climate change gets worse, at least in Beewise, there's hope for the tiny critters and us. 

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Now, Indian startups are also making their way to the South American nation. From free trade agreements to a lenient, proactive government, it seems that Chile is offering all that startups need, but there’s one big reasons that stands out: inefficiency. That’s right, it’s the bad in Chile that draws the attention. Both nations share a lot and startups can test models in two large markets that have a lot in common. So, this is a fascinating example of how the good and the bad allow for cooperation.

Bernardo Montes de Oca
Content creator in love with writing in all its forms, from scripts to short stories to investigative journalism, and about almost every topic imaginable.
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