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Boredom at work: how to overcome the Boreout Syndrome?

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Does boreout mean anything to you? This 21st century affliction, also known as occupational burnout, is hitting businesses more than ever. According to Forbes, occupational burnout costs between 125 and 190 billion dollars every year in healthcare in the United States alone. 

Not content with just hampering employees’ productivity, boreout is a real psychological condition which might even lead to physical illness capable of putting a damper on some people’s career ambitions. So, how can we protect ourselves from boreout and identify the first signs before it gets too late? If we have fallen victim to it, how can we bounce back?

Boreout: A 21st Century Condition

Have you ever felt like you have not achieved anything during the day on your way home from work? If you have, find solace in the fact that you are not alone, as boreout affects almost 60% of employees in France according to some studies!

But what causes this condition, exactly? At first glance, occupational burnout resembles the symptoms of overworking. Nevertheless, it is not caused by an excess of work like the latter, but rather a lack of intellectual stimulation.

Many aspects can cause boreout, but some of the most frequent are as follows:

  • The absence of new tasks in your day-to-day life. The repetition of certain aspects of a job can quickly become boring. If this is not offset by learning new things, it can lead to tiredness and a lack of engagement;
  • Being overqualified for the position. Some employees find themselves in positions which do not use their skillset to the full. If their situation hampers their career progression, they risk boreout;
  • A lack of responsibility and new challenges. Just like the absence of new tasks, the absence of challenges and intellectual stimulation go hand in hand with boreout.

The causes of this affliction are, of course, often deeper and more complex than those mentioned above, causing long-term harmful effects. Sometimes employees are not even aware of their psychological state, as they have become too used to an unsatisfying day-to-day life!

Are you suffering from boreout? To find out, you can try to spot the first signs.

Identifying The Signs of Lack of Engagement at Work

Although boreout can show itself in many forms, you should be alerted by some of the signs. This syndrome can manifest itself both psychologically and physically.

Look out for the following psychological signs:

  • Irritability, which can be seen through outbursts of aggression and anger;
  • Anxiety, which often manifests itself in the form of occasional crises;
  • Social withdrawal, which consists of distancing yourself from peers, colleagues and even loved ones;
  • Symptoms indicative of depression in cases of extreme boreout.

The physical symptoms of boreout may be as follows:

  • Frequent headaches;
  • The weakening of your immune system and chronic health concerns;
  • Difficulty sleeping and bouts of insomnia.

What can you do if you are suffering from any of these symptoms? How should you respond to boreout? There are several strategies to get back on your feet and give your motivation a boost.

Recovering from Boreout and Taking Back Control of Your Career

Take a Break

Your physical and mental health come first. If you feel you need to, do not hesitate to take some time for yourself and cut off work. A break of a few days or weeks will help you to shake off your stress and anxiety. However, sometimes boreout is too far advanced for rest to be enough. In these cases, more radical measures are in order.

Communicate with Your Team

One of the most effective solutions is talking to those around you about your feelings. Ask your colleagues and managers to talk about your feelings and professional ambitions. After all, a lack of communication may mean that your manager is not aware of your situation.

You are completely within your rights to ask for a review of your job description or development opportunities within the company. Do not hesitate to exercise this right or offer your help to colleagues for new projects. Being proactive will help others to entrust new tasks to you.

Give Meaning to Your Work on a Daily Basis

Whatever the causes, do not let boreout take hold and put the brakes on your career. This feeling of boredom can actually be seen as an opportunity to take a step back from your career path and desires and focus on giving meaning to your work.

Take the time to ask yourself what solutions you can use to do things to contribute to making you happy at your company and share these observations with your managers.

Boreout: How About Starting A New Life?

If your prospects at your company are still limited, now may be a good time to take stock of your achievements and consider a real career change. For example, a skills assessment could help you to better discern your needs and identify what drives your commitment at work, such as more or less independence, teamwork or flexibility. When you have these cards up your sleeve, you can confidently set out towards a position or sector in line with your skills and personality.

The best solution to boreout can sometimes be broadening your skillset to gain access to new responsibilities. If you make this choice, training can be a wonderful ally!

To sharpen your profile, update your knowledge and develop new skills, it may be worth following an online learning course to reconcile your job and future ambitions. The entirely distance learning courses offered by EDHEC Online have been designed to help professionals to acquire the tools they need to give their work meaning and pave the way to personal and professional fulfilment. Do not hesitate to discover EDHEC and sign up for one of the next courses!

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