Employee burnout in the tech industry is often associated with prolonged crunches as developers are forced to pull a string of all-nighters to ship a service on time.

But when anonymous workplace review service Blind asked almost 10,000 tech workers to name the main factor leading to burnout in their organization, the top answer chosen wasn’t overwork, but poor leadership and unclear direction.

Work overload was number two in the list, and toxic culture number three. Obviously, none of these factors are mutually exclusive, with poor leadership arguably increasing the likelihood of last-minute crunches. However, it seems that overall employees are less stressed out by a heavy workload than by the feeling they are not working towards a clear goal. Only just under 10% said that burnout wasn’t a problem at their company.

When a new user signs up to Blind they are asked to enter their workplace and to verify themselves as genuine employee using a work email, allowing Blind to compile the list below showing at which companies developers were most likely to report “poor leadership”.

Blind based the choices presented to developers as the main cause of occupational burnout on six factors identified by Christina Maslach, professor emerita of Psychology at UC Berkeley. Maslach found burnout occurs when the employee’s expectations differed from employers in relation to workload, control, reward, community, fairness and values.

An earlier survey of just under 11,500 developers by Blind found that close to 60% were suffering from burnout. That burnout has an impact on businesses as well as employees, with a poll conducted by Kronos Incorporated and Future Workplace revealing that 46 percent of HR leaders say employee burnout is responsible for up to half of their annual workforce turnover.

To learn more about how to deal with burnout in your job, check out these tips by TechRepublic’s Patrick Gray on how to ease the pressure.

Earlier in the year, another survey from Blind found that most software developers also felt they were underpaid.

The big takeaways for tech leaders:

  • The main cause of workplace burnout was found to be poor leadership and unclear direction, according to a survey of tech workers by Blind.
  • Only just under 10% of tech workers questioned said that burnout wasn’t a problem in their workplace.

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