Mental Health: 4 Decisive Requirements when choosing an IT Company to Work For


Mental health in the workplace is one of todays hottest topics, with increased awareness and concern surrounding stress, work-life balance, and burnout. Deloitte published an eye-opening report at the beginning of 2023, based on interviews with full-time professionals, that reveals a staggering 77% of workers have experienced burnout at their current job. With the World Health Organisation (WHO) classifying burnout as a syndrome since 2019, Portugal is now the European country where workers face the highest risk of burnout. Thats according to an analysis by UK-based Small Business Prices, which concluded Portugal has one of the longest working weeks for the lowest pay. Burnout leads to dissatisfaction, missed workdays, and less engaged workers.

Its no wonder, then, that companies are growing increasingly concerned about their employeesmental health. A recent report by PwC, Health and Well-being Touchstone Survey”, showed that 44% of organisations have already invested in wellness programs. 

Raising the alarm about mental health and burnout also means that job seekers, especially in highly competitive industries such as IT, should investigate more deeply what companies have to offer and how they can support their IT careers. Beyond salary, benefits, autonomy, and flexibility, there are other items to consider when looking at job openings in IT companies. These are the most important: 

  • Corporate culture:

    A company might seem like a good fit on paper, but will it match your values? The key is to have well-defined expectations and priorities ahead of the hunt for the ideal company. You should dig deep to understand the company culture and reputation, scout social media and their website, ask questions during the recruiting process, and possibly engage with workers to learn about the prospective employer.  
  • Networking:

    One of the best ways to understand the company is by networking with former and existing workers. You can question how long theyve worked there, what they highlight as positive and/or challenging, whether the organisation encourages flexibility or a rigid workday structure, and how theyd describe the company culture (hopefully, not as toxic!). 
  • Job description:

    Make it a rule to dissect the job description and identify red or green flags when it comes to your mental health needs. It often contains clues as to whether the organisations values align with yours and if theyre a socially responsible company. It is also the first indicator of whether the employer values well-being and provides wellness tools, mental health support, and training and career advancement programs. 
  • Interview: 

    If you got as far as the interview phase, that means the previous stages were successful. So, this is the time to step it up. Do questions to the interviewer and ask essential things, such as what the company culture looks like, how they manage talent, is team-based or individual work, what they value in their workers, and what are the strongest and weakest suits of the company. Do your research before you say yes.”


There are more crucial things than compensation and benefits when looking for companies to work for, especially in the cut-throat environment of IT careers. Prioritising mental health is imperative to prevent burnout. Thats what makes job searching more intentional and adequate for the well-being of the candidate. You can read more about work-life balance and how to land the job that better suits your goals and needs in books such as Designing Your Work Life: How to Thrive and Change and Find Happiness at Work” by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans, and So Good They Cant Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love” by Cal Newport. 

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