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IT and cybersecurity professionals are often the unsung heroes of an organization — underfunded, overworked and short-staffed despite their importance in keeping sensitive business and customer data safe. It’s no wonder these employees are vulnerable to burnout — chronic workplace stress that results in mental and physical exhaustion. In fact, a recent survey found that almost half (47%) of cybersecurity incident responders say they’ve experienced burnout or extreme stress over the past 12 months.
Striving to achieve a better work-life balance is no new concept and this was only heightened following the pandemic. While employees may frequently see tips or messaging about what to do to reduce burnout (such as setting work-life boundaries or taking time off), in truth these actions can be much harder to put into practice at an individual level, and can be extremely difficult to manage and support from the leadership perspective. If not implemented into a company’s cultural core, ad hoc relief tactics may grant employees temporary release, but will never truly stop the cycle of chronic burnout. For leaders to ensure that balance becomes a workplace norm, leadership must start with stepping in and doing intentional, routine work from the top down.
The work-from-home movement also brought an increase in cyberattacks and data breaches — up 15.1% in 2021, according to one report. Eliminating burnout among tech and cybersecurity professionals is not just good for company morale and employee retention, it is also essential to ensuring the overall safety of the organization. Here, I share my top recommendations for how leaders can reduce burnout in their organizations while balancing this e …