Boredom affects us all. From getting dragged into something we don’t want to do to routine household chores. What about being bored at work? With present-day modifications and more people working remotely, personnel and their employers are seeing an increase in tediousness with a wide range of causes.
While boredom at work isn’t new, there are interesting changes reported. Recent findings suggest that it’s a result of lack of meaning or challenge in employment at all stages. High levels of boredom were found to be prevalent with people throughout the entertainment, communication, and information technology industries. Conversely, employees in more purposeful sectors — such as health, social work, and education — were bored the least.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, reports show a decline in life satisfaction. Many people are re-assessing their positions. Millennials are disproportionately reporting disinterest and a sense of unfulfillment in their profession. As boredom becomes more widespread, it’s important to consider employee well-being — as it can affect the company’s well-being.
High levels of boredom are commonly associated with poor mental health, increased stress, and the development of bad habits. These tolls can lead to low productivity in and outside of work. What are some causes of workplace boredom? Commonly, repetitive tasks, limited social interactions, and lack of progression create tedium experiences. Operating in an environment with inadequate or slow resources is also a leading cause.
How an individual feels and handles boredom is subjective. Yet there are ways to address it in the workplace. First, it’s important to encourage interaction and communication within the workforce. This includes reaching out to employees who are currently working from home. Striking up a conversation or going out to lunch with colleagues could not only abate boredom, but can relieve stress. It could also lead to meaningful relationships and a more fulfilling work environment.
Another way to stimulate bored individuals is to advocate stepping away to relax their minds on a short break. Laboring under constant pressure can increase stress and decrease focus. It’s recommended to enjoy a walk, coffee break, or even a personal phone call to help ease the mind briefly before jumping back on track.
An up-and-coming way to not only decrease monotony in the workforce but improve productivity is gamification. This refers to performance engagement strategies designed to bolster production, strengthen culture, and drive motivation through games. With incentives for performing well individually or as a team, businesses are finding this to be advantageous for employees and companies. These games can be teamwide and should include remote workers. Addressing employee dissatisfaction can be simple and effective if approached appropriately.
For further information and tips to overcome workplace boredom, please see the accompanying resource created by experts on gamification in retail industry.