On Tuesday the BBC reported on a Frenchman who is suing his former employer for his ‘bore out’.
Frederic Desnard claimed he was “killed professionally through boredom”, and wants 360,000 euros from the firm that he says turned him into a “professional zombie”.
But what exactly is a bore out, and how many people are affected by it? We dug a little deeper to see how boredom affects those in the work place.
What is a bore out?
The Guardian describes a bore out as ‘like a burnout, but less interesting’.
Those suffering from a burnout may find themselves so dedicated to work, or given too much work, that they struggle to complete it and it leaks into their home life.
On the opposite end of the spectrum is a bore out, where workers aren’t delegated enough tasks to keep them busy during the work day. They may also find the work they are given isn’t challenging enough and can be completed in less time than given.
Wikipedia describes a bore out as “a management theory that posits that lack of work, boredom, and consequent lack of satisfaction are a common malaise affecting individuals working in modern organizations, especially in office-based white collar jobs.”
Boredom expert Dr Sandi Mann commented on how boredom at work can lead to depression and can cause people to become more prone to stress.
People who are bored at work may also die younger as they’re likely to seek stimulation from “risk-taking behaviour”, such as unhealthy food, alcohol and drugs.
How can you avoid it?
While suing the employer might be the road Mr Desnard chose to take, that doesn’t mean everyone should be out for their boss’ cash.
If you struggle with boredom at work the first port of call should be trying to come to a decision why you’ve become bored of your job.
If it’s because you aren’t delegated enough work to keep you busy, you should organise a meeting with your manager to see how your skills can be used effectively to improve the business.
However, if it’s your attitude to the job or if the tasks you’re given aren’t interesting enough, you might be in the wrong line of work.
Dr Mann says boredom can also motivate people to become creative, and can spur people to change their life around.
Try retraining in something you enjoy or ditch the nine to five lifestyle completely and give freelancing a go. Freelancers are often workers who felt unfulfilled by their nine to five job, so it could be just the tonic you need.
Are you in danger of a work bore-out? Or have you changed your career around after a bad job? Leave us your comments in the section below!
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About The Author
An experienced business and finance writer, sometimes moonlighting as a fiction writer and blogger.