tackling boredom in the workplace.

  • July is known for being the halfway point in a year, and the month of many festivals across the UK - However, July is also Anti-Boredom month. Invented forty years ago, the aim of National Anti-Boredom Month is to encourage people to pinpoint what it is that makes them bored and how to decrease boredom. 

    The average person will spend 90,000 hours at work over a lifetime, that’s one-third of your life, and according to the The O.C. Tanner Institute, 40% of employees in the UK find their workplaces duties dull. A stat that needs to improve to beat the boredom.     

    In the spirit of Anti-Boredom month here are four typical causes of boredom in the workplace and four solutions to increase engagement and reduce boredom in the workplace;

 

 

- Lack of opportunities 

- Nothing to do

- Overworked

- No challenge

 

 

1. lack of learning and development opportunities.

 

46% of entry to mid-level workers are more likely to be bored than senior management according to a survey by udemy, because of the lack of learning and development options available to them. In the same survey, four in five employees expressed that learning new skills at work would make them more engaged. 

How to fix this: 
Give employees (new or old) the option to learn, this will help employees to feel valued as soon as they’ve joined your organisation. Feeling valued and engaged is a great way to ensure that fresh talent see a future career within your organisation and increase their productivity. Even if it’s something as simple as helping employees improve their presentation skills can boost employees’ confidence massively. 

2. there’s nothing to do. 

 

It doesn’t take a brain scientist to realise that when employees don’t have enough work to do boredom sets in. 30% of employees have said that not having enough work to do has at least partially contributed to their boredom. Experts have concluded that due to Millennials being more technologically savvy than Baby Boomers, they are able to complete tasks at a faster pace than their older counterparts resulting in Millennials being more likely to be bored at work in general.  

How to fix this:
As an employer, you should take this as the perfect opportunity to delegate new tasks to individuals with less/no work to do - specifically more challenging tasks as these will be more fulfilling, and take longer to complete. The key is to make employees feel empowered. 

3. overworked and under pressure.

 

Alternatively, having too much work can result in employees feeling stretched too thin. 25% of employees have identified having a heavy work load as another reason for their boredom. When tasks pile up or feel never ending it increases the chances of procrastination and loss of motivation. In extreme cases, it could lead to employee burn out. 

How to fix this:
Communication is key to solving this problem. Arrange regular one to one meetings to discuss your employee's workloads, the progress they’ve made and whether they are being overworked or underworked. It is crucial to ensure that you are utilising your employee's abilities without imposing too much pressure on them. 

4. not being challenged. 

 

44% of employees have stated that their boredom has been caused by unchallenging work or work that didn’t require them to make use of their education. Research documented in the International Journal of Business Reviews highlights that monotonous, formulaic, or routine work tasks most frequently lead to boredom.

How to fix this:
Make sure that you are creating ways for employees to develop themselves - from employees to senior staff. This where challenging tasks come in to help employees to do new tasks that they’re not used to, but also test and enhance their abilities. 

stimulation is good for the workforce.

 

According to publication employee benefits: nearly a third of employees say they are not motivated at work. Additionally, 58% of managers reported they’ve never received any management training which would explain why some managers struggle to engage their workforce. 

It is vital that employers find a way to minimise boredom and increase employee stimulation to reduce the loss of performance and increase job satisfaction. According to a survey conducted by Gallup $300 billion is the cost of an unmotivated workforce - this is what companies lose each year because of the lack of productivity among their workforce. 
Additionally, Hay Group has stated that offices with motivated employees were 43% more productive than companies with bored staff members. These reasons should be enough for you to create ways to entice your workers and improve your organisation.

 

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