If you work in the IT field, cybersecurity, the startup world or any other high-pressure job, you or someone you know has probably suffered from burnout in one form or another. If so, you already know that burnout is a real condition with significant consequences. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) recently recognized burnout as an occupational phenomenon.
The WHO describes burnout as follows:
Burn-out (sic) is a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. It is characterized by three dimensions:
- feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion;
- increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job; and
- reduced professional efficacy.
I have been on the road pretty much constantly for the last three or four months (no, I am not trying to say I suffer from burnout). We have covered lots of great conferences. One of the best, as usual, was Gene Kim’s DevOps Enterprise Summit in London. We have about 30 videos from the conference up on the Digital Anarchist site. Of those interviews, my favorite is the one in which I had a chance to sit down with three PhDs to discuss the issue of burnout. I say three PhDs not just to throw around titles—these are three recognized experts in their field.
The trio of panelists are:
Dr. Christina Maslach — Probably the foremost authority in the world on burnout.
Dr. Steven Spear — Senior Lecturer at MIT Sloan School and the Engineering Systems Division at MIT.
Dr. Nicole Forsgren — Founder of DevOps Research and Assessment, now part of Google.
This interview is a little bit longer than most, slightly more than 30 minutes. But I think it is well worth your time to hear what these three experts have to say on the issue of burnout and workplace fatigue.
In addition to our interview on the Digital Anarchist set, I am also happy to include the panel discussion these three folks had on the main stage of DOES London with Gene Kim.
More importantly, if you or someone you know is suffering from burnout symptoms, please reach out for help and do something about it. You are not alone.
Don’t forget! DevOps Enterprise Summit Las Vegas 2019 is happening Oct. 28-30 at The Cosmopolitan Hotel. Be sure to register here if you haven’t already and join us for the premier event for technology leaders of large, complex organizations implementing DevOps principles and practices. You can also preview the event by watching presentations from past DevOps Enterprise Summits.