Main image of article Employees at Apple, Google, Big Tech: We're Feeling Demotivated

As we approach the end of 2020, are technologists feeling burned out and demotivated? According to a new study by Blind, which anonymously surveys technologists, the answer to that question is a definite “Yes.”

Overall, some 80 percent of technologists said they were demotivated at work (at FAANG firms, that rose to 83 percent). However, the number of the de-motivated varies wildly from company to company; for example, a stunning 87 percent of Facebook employees say they’re gripped by ennui, versus 73 percent at Apple. Here’s the full company-by-company breakdown:

What’s behind these high numbers of demotivated technologists? It could be a consequence of the end of a very long, very difficult year for many people. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, technologists have not only had to radically adjust to remote work, but also unexpected challenges. For product managers and engineers, for example, release schedules for apps, services, and website upgrades have accelerated; for cybersecurity analysts and engineers, a rising number of cyberattacks have required a more aggressive response. 

Technologists have risen to the occasion, but even the best-organized individuals can feel the strain of accelerated deadlines and unforeseen complications. Earlier this year, another Blind survey showed technologists at many companies wrestling with increased overwork and burnout

Many companies have recognized burnout as an issue. Google has recently focused on a handful of initiatives, including a “no meetings” week and “resiliency videos” designed to improve employees’ mental health. Other, smaller firms have instituted everything from flexible schedules to virtual happy hours. 

A big part of avoiding feeling demotivated (and burnout) also rests on what any technologist can do for themselves. Setting firm schedules, engaging in proactive discussions about workloads, and getting enough sleep and exercise are all key. It’s been a very hard year for everyone, and it’s easy to see why motivation has flagged even among ordinarily hard-charging technologists; but with a few straightforward steps, you can restore your drive for 2021.