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Mental health in the workplace: Are you bored-out rather than burned-out?

Office boredom
18:26 03/12/2018
More than one in five Belgians report office ennui

Around 21% of workers in Belgium are bored at work and 5.6% risk boredom burnout syndrome, according to a survey of 1,552 employees by HR consultancy Securex.

It found that 8 % of workers were regularly bored, 10% considered their job monotonous, 8% thought their professional activity was unnecessary and 19% said daily tasks presented little in the way of challenges.

Younger workers were found to have a higher risk (7%) of experiencing the problem, compared to older ones (2%), while managers were less likely to suffer boreout (4%) than non-managerial staff (6%).

The study reported that bored workers ran a higher risk of suffering emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion in the workplace, in particular employees of large companies.

“Boreout is above all a problem of motivation, but that does not mean that the risks and consequence should be underestimated,” said Securex HR research expert Hermina Van Coillie.

She added: “Workers with boreout report that they are not ‘authorised’ to work, while people suffering burnout consider that they are no longer ‘capable’ of working. Burnout is the consequence of chronic work pressure; boreout is the result of a chronic lack of tasks and stimulation.”

Workers at risk of boreout revealed that work had a negative effect on their health. Said Van Coillie: “They can even suffer more stress than a person who isn’t bored or doesn’t find their work monotonous.”

Securex concluded that prevention relied on ensuring workers had autonomy, solidarity and work skills. It had this message for employers: “Take care that your employees have enough useful work with sufficient cognitive challenges. And give them more autonomy, offering jobs that meet their talent and skills, as well as investing in a good atmosphere and openness between colleagues.”

Photo: bowie15/Getty Images


Written by Sarah Crew