The Emotion We Won’t Admit:
Boredom at Work

Boredom-at-workEven though you may have a great job, you can still experience boredom at work. Who hasn’t been sitting at the computer when a restless feeling starts gnawing away and thoughts meander anywhere but on the task required?

“Boredom is an aversive state characterized by dissatisfaction, restlessness, and weariness,” Andreas Elpidorou, a University of Louisville researcher, noted in the journal Frontiers in Psychology.

A recent Forbes article reports that multiple university studies have found that boredom can unhinge even high-performing professionals, resulting in sabotage, withdrawal, abusing team members and purposely failing at tasks.

According to 2011 research by management-consulting firm Gallup, 71% of American workers are either not engaged or actively disengaged from their jobs, with highly educated and middle-aged workers the least likely to feel involved in and enthusiastic about their work.

A feeling of boredom can cause one to question the meaning and value of just about everything. Boredom isn’t just wasteful, it is stressful. If you’re busy, and yet still bored, it’s even more so.

 “My boredom stems not from having nothing to do but from having nothing that seems worthwhile doing. We human beings are addicted to meaning, and this kind of existential boredom signals its unhappy retreat.” ~ Mark de Rond, “Are You Busy at Work but Still Bored?Harvard Business Review, July 2012.

Boredom can come not only from having nothing to do but from having nothing that seems worthwhile to do.

If boredom came solely from a lack of things to do, we could eliminate boredom by simply having more to do. But this solution only works in the short-term when what we are asked to do does not feel meaningful.

What about you? Have you experienced boredom at work, and what do you do to combat it? Give me a call, 704-827-4474. Or, you can reach me here and on LinkedIn. Give me a call, 704-827-4474. Or, you can reach me here and on LinkedIn.

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