Striking a Work-Life Balance in the IT Industry

By Matt Hayes | 10th January 2024

We get it – working in IT isn’t a walk in the park! The rapid evolution of technology, the relentless push for innovation, and the pressure to continuously upskill – it’s no wonder IT professionals often find themselves on the brink of burnout.

Striking a work-life balance in the IT industry is easier said than done. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Let’s talk about a little thing called work-life balance. Yes, it IS achievable, even in our industry!

Why is work-life balance such a big deal anyway?

If you’re feeling like your work is constantly spilling into your personal life, you’re not alone. The struggle to create a clear divide between ‘work’ and ‘life’ can often feel like a Herculean task for those in the tech world. But here’s the thing – neglecting this balance could lead to stress, decreased productivity, and even health issues in the long run.

In this blog we’ll deliver advice (and resources) to help strike a work-life balance in the IT industry.

Global studies have shown two in five IT professionals are at high risk of burnout, and in IT security, it’s more than half.

How do we achieve work-life balance in the IT industry?

So how can you, as an IT professional, find that sweet spot between keeping your career on track and maintaining your sanity? We’re glad you asked!

Here are some strategies you can try:

  1. Drawing the line

One of the first steps to achieving work-life balance is to define your work hours and stick to them, even when working from home. Remember, your email notifications can wait until the morning, and it’s totally fine to mute your work chat after hours.

  1. Mastering the art of time management

Managing your time efficiently can be a game-changer. Techniques like the Pomodoro Technique or the Eisenhower Matrix could help you get the most out of your work hours and still have time for Netflix and chill!

  1. Team up and delegate

You’re a tech whiz, not a superhero! Recognise when to share the workload. Delegation is a skill, and so is working as part of a team. Plus, sharing the load can often lead to better solutions and less midnight oil burning.

  1. Breathe, stretch, relax

Mindfulness isn’t just for monks! Techniques like meditation, yoga, or simply spending some time in nature can help to reduce stress levels. Add regular exercise and a good night’s sleep to the mix, and you’re on your way to a healthier, happier you.

Check out Headspace, a science-based app in mindfulness and meditation or Calm – the #1 app for sleep, meditation and relaxation.

  1. Lifelong learning – but make it fun

In the IT world, you’re a lifelong learner, whether you like it or not! But who says learning has to be a chore? Set realistic learning goals, explore new and exciting fields, and remember – it’s not a race.

Pluralsight is a great resource to make learning informative and fun, on your own time (and terms).

  1. Reach out when things get tough

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, remember it’s okay to ask for help. Whether it’s from a mentor, a counsellor, or even your HR team, don’t be afraid to reach out. We’re all in this together.

Mind has some amazing resources to hep you feel more able to cope.

Striking a work-life balance in the IT sector – in a nutshell

Achieving a work-life balance in IT is less of a destination and more of a journey, filled with continuous tweaking and balancing.

Remember that there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy. What’s important is to find a rhythm that works for you. So, take a step back, breathe, and let’s bring balance back to the IT force!

If you want to work for an organisation that values you, gives you the flexibility and autonomy to do your job and have a life, speak to our friendly IT recruiters today, because we’re connected with organisations just like this and they’re looking for your skills.

Matt Hayes