The effects of ‘boreout’ in the workplace

Sep 13, 2021

Many of us are aware of the damaging effects that burnout can have. It’s the result of long hours, poor work life balance and today’s “always on” society. For some, the idea of being bored might be a luxury, being paid to do relatively undemanding, easy or repetitive tasks sounds like a dream! However, despite the term ‘boreout’ not seeming serious, workplace boredom can actually take a massive toll on your mental health, so much so that in June 2020, a French worker was awarded a £36,000 payout after his lawyer successfully argued that he had suffered from extreme boreout which led to a nervous breakdown.

Boreout can occur across all industries and result in serious health problems for workers and a high staff turnover. Knowing what boreout is, and how to identify it, is critical for tackling it.


Identifying boreout

The signs of boreout can be very similar to those of burnout, the key difference is what triggers them. Burnout occurs when you’re overworked and stressed over a long period of time, whereas boreout can happen if you don’t feel challenged enough. If you’re experiencing boreout you may feel anxious, sad and depressed. If your work is repetitive or remote with little to no social interaction, you may find yourself feeling underwhelmed and disconnected from your work and other employees.

If you think you may be suffering from boreout or know someone who is, it’s important to remember that recognising it is a great start to eventually overcoming it.


Overcoming boreout


Talk to someone

If you feel your workload is contributing to how you feel, leaving your job may not be the only answer, instead speak to your manager about what taks are making you feel bored, try to identify what kinds of responsibilities would help prevent you feeling this way. It’s important to ask yourself what may be the route cause of your boreout, opening up a dialogue and sharing your thoughts – whether it’s to a manager or a friend – can help.


Over the past year many of us have opted to work from home, either part time of full time. This will ultimately reduce how much interaction you have with your collegues and maybe even reduce your workload both of which can contribute to boreout. Whatever the trigger, it’s important to maintain a good work/life balance while working from home. Self-care and achieving that balance can help improve your relationships both in and outside of work, in turn helping you to become more productive.

Try something new 

Trying something new like a hobby or developing a new skill can help boost your mood and leave you more motivated. Boreout can lead to low self-esteem, trying something new is a great way to challenge yourself and get you out of a rut.

Find your motivation

Take some time to list your goals and evaluate them. Focus on the ones that make you happy and write down the steps you’ll need to take achieve them. Boreout can be a real drain on your motivation, this task is an easy way to get you back on track and inspired to keep going.


Have you ever felt underworked and unmotivated in your role? Let us know how you overcame the effects of boreout via out Linkedin.

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