Burnout from working too much is something every working person needs to worry about. But in some fields, the danger is magnified. Doctors, lawyers, and executives are common victims of the negative health effects of overworking.
And now, cybersecurity professionals have bene added to the mix.
Thanks to stressors like advanced malware and zero-day vulnerabilities, cybersecurity professionals are joining the ranks of the most burnt out professionals in the workforce. On top of regular on-the-job stressors, a shortage of cybersecurity professionals in the marketplace means in many cases, lone employees are doing what should rightly be the work of two or three people.
This kind of burnout has real world consequences; mental health concerns like depression and anxiety are on the rise for cybersecurity professionals, affecting their life at home as well as at work.
What should I do to keep myself from getting burnt out?
Keeping yourself from becoming burnt out in cybersecurity is the same as keeping yourself from becoming burnt out in any other profession.
Get a hobby
Allowing your whole day to become consumed by cybersecurity is a quick path to burnout. To prevent this, include other activities in your life. Start learning a skill you've always wanted to learn, practicing a new language, or playing a new sport.
Take regular breaks from work
Make sure to take regular breaks from work to do nothing in particular. If there's nothing pressing that needs to be done, leave work on time (and don't work from home). Take a day off when your schedule allows. Plan regular vacations -- and shift your work to team members, so you aren't working while you're on your vacation.
Spend time with friends and family
Humans are social animals. The best way for us to refuel and feel good about life is to spend time with other humans we love and care about. Remember to spend time with your friends, family, and loved ones.
Remember to put your phone and computer away while you take this quality time -- time spent split between another person and a screen is not quality time.
Keep work in perspective
Ultimately, work is just work. It's just a way to get money so you are able to live the kind of life you want. Work concerns should be kept in perspective, not made into the center of your world.
What should I do to keep my employees from getting burnt out?
There's only so much employees can do to keep themselves from getting burnt out. As an employer, you bear a special resopnsibility toward your employees to create an environment for them that is conducive to their health, not destructive. Some ways you can create that environment are:
Add more team members
Cybersecurity is an industry known for it's lack of qualified professionals. Often, cybersecurity employees are doing the work of two or three men. People who are working double or triple rarely put in quality work. Hire more team members so your current ones can share the load.
Create a restful space
Our environment affects our performance. If your workplace is a dark, chaotic, stressful environment, employee performance will suffer. Create an employee workspace which is calm, peaceful, and welcoming so that employees can relax into work.
Encourage team members to take breaks
Nobody can work continuously. Encourage employees to take regular breaks when necessary so that when they are working, they are giving their best work.
Give employees autonomy
The person who knows how to make your employees perform best are the employees themselvs. Give them freedom to do what will make them the most effective employees. Instead of trying to get results by controlling their every move, allow them the freedom professional adults deserve.