how to deal with boredom at work

Little interaction with co-workers, lack of challenges, tasks or supervision can bore us to the point of suffering from Boreout syndrome, a pattern of chronic boredom at work.

BY RRHHDigital, 13:30 – 08 July 2021

The pandemic abruptly interrupted our working life and forced us to work from home. As a result, our productivity in the company has increased, but after almost a year and a half of telecommuting shows its darker side: employees isolated, tired, unrelated and bored with work. The psychologists of the platform of emotional well-being for individuals and organizations think in this report to analyze the Boreout syndrome or an image of deep and continuous professional demotivation experienced in the form of boredom.

We must understand the so-called Boreout syndrome as a pattern of chronic boredom at work that can be experienced at all levels: mental (attention decreases and the analysis of stimuli becomes superficial), emotional (demotivated, apathetic), physical and postural (lack of energy, feeling of being deflated, lazy and limp posture) and behavioral (as we are demotivated and inattentive and nothing catches our interest, we peck here and there, we both get up in threes , we discuss with colleagues …)

It is the opposite of feeling motivated, inspired, productive, connected to set goals and properly oriented towards the tasks necessary to achieve them.

Although we call it “boredom,” this does not mean that the bored person is relaxed or rested: they may feel restless and restless because of the feeling that time is not passing, that it is becoming. eternal and that there is no way to fill it by being reasonably productive. This can cause great tension or irritability.

It is often experienced in silence and in a sneaky way: admitting that you are bored at work can be interpreted as not doing what you have to do or that you have nothing to do. make. Either situation makes you an indispensable worker who could lose your job, so no one would quite admit that they have nothing to do or that they are very bored at their jobs.

Causes of bore-out syndrome

This image of boredom stems from a poor human resources policy when assessing risk factors for the emotional well-being of employees and therefore for their productivity.

100% teleworking or a culture of work presenteeism. This syndrome can be the consequence of a corporate culture installed in the desire to appear physically in the office, whether or not there is homework. This is what is pejoratively called “heating the chair”, which forces employees to stay at their post even when there is nothing to do and, above all, without anyone admitting that there is nothing to do. On the other side we have teleworking, so much introduced lately due to the pandemic. The resulting isolation has a negative impact above all on people accustomed to travel, to the social environment of offices and workplaces. The ideal is to have a hybrid model that allows reconciliation by maintaining routines and absorbing the best of each system of work. Poor conception of the assignment of tasks / functions in relation to the professional profile, sometimes due to the overqualification of the employee and other occasions due to the attribution of motivation always to some and boredom always to other. Poor supervision of the performance and coordination of the work team. Lack of spaces of trust to review the general functioning of the team and in particular that of each employee, and to be able to assess their level of performance and their level of motivation, as well as their possible suggestions for improvement. Poor distribution of tasks: whether or not they are adapted to the professional profile, they are rare for the time allotted to them. Bad organization on the part of the employee. Not being aware of the level of depth and effort a task requires and staying on the surface, not taking into account certain aspects of the tasks that need to be done (and that will take time, energy and effort). attention), not being able to adequately assume their functions and to abandon themselves to an attitude of apathy that feeds their demotivation.

Consequences of Boreout syndrome at work

A bored worker is a demotivated worker and a demotivated worker is not productive and ends up being a drag on his business and himself. Is not happy.

Break the commitment to the company. If what I’m doing motivates me, entertains me and develops me, I tend to want to stay with the company and be involved in the quality of my work. If what I’m doing is boring, I don’t find any meaning in it, it never changes and doesn’t bring me anything, it tends to detach me from my responsibility and to lower my identification with the company. Lack of personal development. The worker can enter a cognitive and emotional loop in which his lingering feeling of boredom ends up transforming into a larger experience, of lack of personal fulfillment and loss of meaning in his professional career, of not being able to continue to perform. his task as expected of him. Like any curl, it can have its meaning, but it ends up being unproductive and adds an annoyance to the feeling of boredom of the work that already existed, does not help its solution. For the company all are negative consequences, highlighting the degradation of the working environment, productivity, product quality, the flight of talent and the internal and external reputation of the company.

How to treat Boreout syndrome

If it is too late to prevent it and you have been infected, you can implement this advice from ifeel psychologists, experts in employees, but it will be strongly recommended to have the help of your company to stop it. .

Change your attitude. It is important that whatever causes of Boreout are beyond our control, we take responsibility for our psychological state as we work and do everything possible to improve our attitude. After all, it is the first-person worker who suffers from Boreout syndrome, and the adaptation must begin with him as well. There are no magic solutions that someone can implement to put an end to a state of deep boredom at work, but little by little it is possible to change attitude: observe the work in a realistic way and not demand more from the task than he can. giving, making sure to put all the necessary energy, effort and attention on the task (don’t settle for superficial results just because I am doing “minor” tasks), trying to use the excess time, if I have any, on something productive, especially if it is work-related issues, doing homework if possible, offering to help other colleagues in their tasks, etc. Let your supervisor know about your situation. The company must make a critical analysis of the work methodology that the team uses, on what corporate culture it is based, what harmful inertias maintain it and to what extent this methodology is adapted to the needs of the organization at the time. ‘actual hour . . . In general, it will suffice to know the causes that we have mentioned and to do the opposite, for example: to have flexibility and a capacity for innovation when designing schedules, to distribute and review tasks in an efficient and self-critical manner. , functions and responsibilities between the different members of the equipment and provide for rotation measures in the accomplishment of the most tedious or repetitive tasks, to distribute this load and to be able to count on a diversity of actors in the different parts of the process. production.

It is not easy to learn to review the corporate culture as a preliminary step to make innovative decisions on how best to align the talents of the team, the achievement of the objectives, the psychological well-being of the employees. and productivity. The professionals best able to advise companies on these questions are psychologists, for example through specific emotional well-being programs for companies such as the one offered by ifeel to its companies and which significantly improves their productivity.

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