It's a techie life Society

Sleepless in Technopark

Illustration: Sreejith R.Kumar

Illustration: Sreejith R.Kumar

Techies are used to burning the midnight oil, given that they are, as a whole, professional, driven and hardworking. But that does make the techies in Technopark among the most sleep-deprived of citizens.

“I get to sleep only about four to six hours in the night, if I am lucky,” says Nithin, who says he is losing sleep trying to get his product development start-up off the ground. “I’m not complaining, though. My work is so engaging that I’ve conditioned myself to sleep only that much. Besides it's those techies in the services sector who face this issue more because they have to be constantly on their toes dealing with their clients,” he adds.

He’s not alone. Technopark, it seems, has many such techies who are sleep-deprived, for one reason or the other.

Gautham Jose, an analyst with an MNC on campus, clocks only four hours of sleep a night as he usually works 17 hours a day, every weekday! “I guess, I am bit too dedicated to work,” muses Gautham. “After finishing my work for the day, I usually spend time helping others with their projects. At the moment I can afford to work late and sleep less as I am still single!” he adds, with a laugh.

Jissel Annie Mathew, an operations specialist with another MNC, too gets only about four to five hours of sleep a day. “I work the night shift, which means I finish work at 6.30 a.m.,” she explains. She doesn’t seem too disturbed when we wake her up at noon, way ahead of schedule.

“After you crash out in the morning, however much you try, it’s impossible to sleep more than five hours during the day. I love my job but I’m perpetually sleep-deprived and it makes me tired throughout the day,” she says.

Raghu Krishnan K. (name changed on request), a tech lead with an MNC that works in the services sector, is another one used to five hours of sleep, especially now that the project he’s working for a Germany-based client is nearing its release date. “In general when the deadline for any project approaches you won’t be able to sleep a wink. In fact, you’ll probably end up thinking about the project, if at all you do manage to get some shut-eye!” he says, with a laugh.

Gautham agrees and explains: “At this stage of development of a project there’s sure to be unexpected issues that crop up at all times of the day and night, which you simply have to solve, and you end up staying late at work, stressing out and losing sleep.”

Rahul chips in again: “When I’m sleep deprived I tend to get memory loss, vision problems, moos wings and the like.”

Geography also has a hand in them losing sleep. “Most of us in Technopark work for parent companies or have clients that are based in different time zones, especially Eastern Standard Time and Pacific Standard Time in the United States, which is roughly nine and a half and twelve and a half hours behind us, respectively. This means that when their work day begins, ours comes to an end here in India. Inevitably, you end up staying late into the night to clarify doubts and solve issues and hence get less sleep,” says Raghu. “Also, after your brain has been buzzing for all those hours, it takes a lot of time to wind down. The later it gets at work, the harder it is to fall asleep,” adds Raghu.

It’s not only due to the nature of their jobs, some techies blame their over dependence on technology for their lack of sleep. “I’m attuned to each ping of my phone, which means that I jerk awake every time it buzzes in the night and it takes me a lot of time to go back to sleep,” admits Arjun N., a newbie programmer at an MNC.

On the positive side, many companies, small and big, do offer flexi hours to their employees. This means that the employees often have the liberty to come and go as they please, the only caveat being they have to get the work done within the time they are in office.


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Printable version | May 22, 2022 1:46:05 am | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/society/sleep-deprivation-is-a-major-issue-among-techies/article7662325.ece