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How to Support Tech Professionals To Improve Their Mental and Physical Health

Working in technology is a challenging job, with tight deadlines, client pressures and often bosses that don’t understand what you do and the intricacies of coding required to ’just make it a bit more, you know,  ’jazzy’ (or similarly unhelpful instructions that programmers and web developers are used to translating into something actionable!).  This can make the job very stressful.

Unfortunately, often the stereotypical image of programmers, and certainly those who game a lot, can be surprisingly accurate.  Anecdotally described as ’human machines who translate junk food, caffeine and cigarette smoke into lines of code at 3am’, while not a ’nice’ generalisation is certainly true of some of the developers I’ve worked with and loved doing so – and if they hadn’t done that, they’d have missed deadlines.  Some of them still miss deadlines despite working all hours, because unrealistic deadlines are often set by people who don’t understand the development process.

At the heart of digital transformation, we need these guys to hang around but should we be encouraging them to sacrifice their health to meet deadlines?  After all, they are hard to find, in short supply and we need more of them.  Here’s how employers can support them better.

 

Encouraging a Healthy Lifestyle

The work hard, play hard culture is long gone and should not return.  Employee health is a growing focus and that goes for your vital tech team too.  Here’s how you can help:

 

Encourage a healthy lifestyle through benefits packages

Make sure your employee benefits package includes benefits which encourage a healthy lifestyle, and ensure that your workplace canteen stocks healthy food.

Smoking is a personal choice, but given how much smoking can contribute to poor health, employers should help those who want to quit with treatments like hypnosis or suggesting alternatives like nicotine pouches, which are tobacco-free, and have other ingredients that can help control the withdrawal symptoms. Click here to find some top-notch nicotine pouches in different flavours.

Check your EAP for hidden benefits such as mental health support lines, too – after all, you pay for the service, time to communicate the benefits to your tech employees.

 

Think about on site activities

While these days tech employers feature cool games consoles and pool tables in the office, and this is great to encourage ’time out’, think about offering gym memberships, the cycle to work scheme and weekend break incentives too.

 

Improve the Way Managers Manage and Communicate with Tech Talent

Stress is a huge challenge for developers.  Your team is likely to be under strain because most employers have too many projects and not enough developers, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything to help.

You can reduce developer stress by encouraging reasonable workloads and improved communication.  Ensure that your line managers set reasonable deadlines for projects, breaking them down into smaller projects if necessary – and also encourage those contributing to the project to give actionable suggestions.

For example ’make it more jazzy’ is unhelpful and assumes the developer can see inside the project leader’s mind – which of course they can’t!

’Could it be more interactive if someone clicks on something?’ is clear, descriptive and actionable.

Tech employees are among the hardest working, most loyal and most misunderstood members of your workforce.  By ensuring they feel engaged, supported and encouraged to be healthy, you are investing in not only your tech team, but your entire business.