Why Getting Bored At Work Is Detrimental To Mental Health

woman looking bored at work using phone

Nowadays, burnout is a hot conversation topic for professionals. Many realize the negative impacts of a lack of work/life balance. On the other hand, boreout syndrome is just as common, yet it’s often overlooked.

While burnout is caused by overworking, ‘boreout’ refers to being bored at work and struggling to find meaning in one’s job. Both employees and employers want to address burnout; in comparison, boreout is more difficult for employees to discuss and employers to notice.

Employees refrain from discussing boreout since it may affect their work performance and alarm their employer. Therefore, employers with no plan to combat boreout often don’t address it. 

However, boreout should be equally important for employers since it’s a leading cause of high turnover rates. So what is boreout, and how does it affect working people’s mental health?

What is boreout?

Boreout or Boredom Burnout Syndrome is a psychological disorder caused by boredom at work due to a lack of stimulating or challenging workload. It generally happens to the employed but may also happen to people who are unemployed, retired, or students.

Chronic boredom can cause depression, stress, and anxiety, leading to sleeping problems and health issues. In addition, it may present physical symptoms such as fatigue, cardiovascular issues, weight gain, or loss.

What causes boreout?

You may lose interest in your work and lack challenge and direction in your career for a long time before seeing any symptoms of boreout.

Loss of interest in your work

Work Addiction Man on Desk

This is a common reason behind boreout. After years of doing the same things, you may have a set routine and no room for growth, learning, and creativity at your job.

Sometimes people lose interest in their work because they don’t have enough to do—whatever the reason, finding your job meaningless prevents you from being present, satisfied, and energized.

Lack of stimulating challenges at work

Similarly to losing interest in your work, lacking stimulating challenges can cause boreout. 

Some jobs simply aren’t stimulating in nature. Feeling under-challenged over a long period and doing the same tasks every day may take a toll on your mental health.

However, not being challenged at work alone won’t cause boreout. There are many other contributing factors, such as your work environment, connection with colleagues, etc.

Toxic workplace culture

Some people who like their jobs may suffer boreout because of the toxic workplace culture they are subjected to daily. 

A toxic workplace culture built on a hierarchal structure where micromanaging, bullying, lack of flexibility, and community are present also affects your mental health. Eventually, you may distance yourself from your job to protect yourself.  

On the other hand, if you have good work relationships, feel appreciated for your efforts by your employer, and are allowed opportunities such as volunteering that add meaning to your work life, you are less likely to experience boreout.

Lack of career goals and direction

Our expectations for life, career, and people change as we grow. Hitting a wall in your career can be alarming, but it’s very common and expected. If anything, it’s healthy for you to question your goals and direction in life.

If you notice a dip in your motivation levels and commitment to work, you may need to ask yourself what next step you want to take in your life and career. 

How to overcome boreout?

Plan out your day - Tikvah Lake Recovery

Overcoming boreout isn’t only the employee’s responsibility. It can be resolved with simple steps and a positive workplace culture where people can openly contribute their ideas.

Be an advocate for a cause you care about

Companies are increasingly putting more emphasis on corporate social responsibility. If you have a cause you care about, discuss it with your employer for them to assign a few volunteering hours per week.

Make time for passion projects

Google is perhaps the most well-known employer that encourages employees to dedicate 20% of their time to a side project. This not only boosts productivity but can also be an effective way to overcome boreout.

Request more learning and development opportunities

Learning new skills and advancing your knowledge in your industry adds more meaning to your work. Requesting a training and development budget from your employer if you don’t already have one is important to show initiative and helps you prevent boreout.

Resetting your mind and body

When all else fails, the best way to cure boreout is to get away. You can reset your mind and body by focusing on your well-being and mental health. Going somewhere tranquil and within nature is the perfect way to immerse yourself fully.

That’s why we built Tikvah Lake as a haven surrounded by nature for our guests to eat, sleep well, meditate, and enjoy the present moment. Our experienced team is here to help with a variety of treatment options

Get in touch with us today to discuss how we can help you or someone you know.

About Adam Nesenoff

Adam Nesenoff has been working in recovery for over ten years.

Reader Interactions

Leave a comment