Technology Can Contribute to Pharma Burnout – It Doesn’t Have to Though


Burnout is something we have been hearing a lot about since the COVID pandemic. It is one of the main factors driving the Great Resignation. Unfortunately, it is as big a problem in pharma as any other industry. Equally unfortunate is that technology can contribute to burnout.

Technology is supposed to help make our lives easier. It is supposed to increase efficiency and productivity. But technology that is not fit for task can create more problems than it solves. In fields like pharma, biotech, and healthcare delivery, technology problems are more common than most people realize.

For the purposes of this post, technology in pharmaceuticals will be the main focus. It can contribute to worker burnout if it is not designed and deployed properly. The good news is that it doesn’t have to. Technology can make pharma jobs better.

  • The #1 Priority Should Be Ease-Of-Use

Whenever a pharmaceutical company considers bringing on new technology, its number one priority should be ease-of-use. Technology is a tool no different than a hammer or screwdriver. If using it is unnecessarily difficult, workers will eventually become frustrated and unwilling.

The reality is that pharma technology solutions are often designed and built by companies that specialize in technology, not pharmaceuticals. That is the nature of the game. But what if those tech companies worked with their pharma customers to design technology solutions around the way pharma workers do their jobs? That would change everything.

  • Communication Opportunities Should Be Maximized

Where technology is used to facilitate remote work, it is important that communication opportunities be maximized. Remote workers should not be cut off from the rest of the company because they aren’t in the office. That being said, communication options can be a touchy subject.

One of the tips offered by the Pharma Diversity job board is for recruiters and candidates to be open to every possible means of communication. That way, the chances of making connections goes up. The same philosophy should apply to remote work.

Give employees the opportunity to communicate in multiple ways. Do not always use the communication method preferred by the boss. Change things up so that communication isn’t always by video chat or email. The more opportunities staff have to communicate, the better off the entire team will be.

  • Pursue Automation and AI

One of the chief technology complaints in pharma is a lack of automation. Technology tools that should be smart enough to automate mundane tasks still force team members to do things manually. This only wastes time. Introducing automation and artificial intelligence (AI) changes everything in technology. Automation and AI streamline mundane tasks. They promote data integration and analysis that far exceed anything workers could do manually.

  • Implement a Technology Audit Policy

Tying everything together is a policy that facilitates regular technology audits. Why audit your technology? To identify what is working and what’s not. There is no point in deploying new technology if it doesn’t work. There’s no point in hanging on to old technology that only makes working harder.

Regular audits should reveal those technologies that need replacing. They should also give a shout out to those technologies that are working. Regular audits help a company stay on the leading edge of where they need to be technologically.

Technology can either stifle or promote productivity in the pharmaceutical industry. It can be a source of worker burnout if it’s tough to use or unfit for the task. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be. The proper approach to technology can reduce worker burnout and increase productivity substantially. Doesn’t that sound like the right way to go?