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What to do when there is 'no fun' at work.

You can get tired of an excess of work, but is it possible to get tired of idleness? If you're bored at work, even if it pays well and offers good benefits, why not address the issue?

Insufficient workload at work can be as harmful as constant rush jobs. People performing easy, repetitive, or uninteresting tasks may lose interest in their activities. Boredom at work can have serious consequences for mental health, leading to stress, anxiety, and even depression.

Shockingly, less than one-third of US workers report feeling engaged in their jobs! Furthermore, in 2021, 20% of job-hoppers cited boredom as their primary reason.

What to do if you find yourself dozing off in the office, feeling disconnected from your tasks?

Okay, Google: What About That French Guy?

In 2016, an employee of the French company Interparfums, Frederic Denard, sued his employer, complaining about his unbearably boring work. In 2020, news broke that he won the trial, with The Paris Court of Appeal awarding him €50 thousand.

Denard claimed that he was assigned very little work that didn't match his skill level. He worked for the company from 2010–2014. At one point, the boredom led him to a nervous breakdown, and he even considered suicide. Subsequently, he was absent from work for seven months before being fired.

HR consultants have coined terms such as burn-out (overwork), bore-out (bored out at work), and brown-out (loss of meaning). Denard used the English term bore-out to describe his condition, when he was chronically bored of his job to the point that his work felt utterly pointless.

As Time notes, bore-out is quite common among French workers. Deloitte found that 55% of workers in France believe that over time, their work makes less sense. Due to employment laws, companies cannot fire workers whose positions are no longer needed, leading them to assign meaningless tasks and hope that employees will quit.

What Causes Chronic Boredom

It is crucial to note that a boreout worker is not a lazy person who doesn't want to do anything. On the contrary, they want to do a lot, but they experience a lack of challenging opportunities.

The reasons you may find yourself feeling bored at work can vary:

1. Job Mismatch: When your work doesn't match your skills, it's common to experience boredom. What motivated you to accept your current job? Was it the salary, a new domain, or a desire to shake things up? Identifying your core motivation can help you spot any areas of mismatch.

2. Lack of Growth Opportunities: Doing the same job for years without any chance for growth can lead to boredom. It's normal to want to develop new skills and explore different areas of expertise.

3. Feeling Under-Challenged: Being unchallenged at work can result in a lack of focus and control over your emotions. 

4. Limited Work Scope: Overloading employees with work is overwhelming, but having too little work can also lead to boredom.

5. Repetitive Tasks: While some dream of a stress-free job, others find monotonous or repetitive tasks boring.

6. Lack of Clear Professional Vision: Many top managers and small business owners struggle to define their company's main goals, leading to a lack of direction and ambition. Regardless of your goal, whether it's building a famous brand or becoming the best in your department, having a clear vision and ambition is essential for success.

Take Jeff Bezos, for instance, who had a clear vision when he created Amazon. He wanted to make it the most customer-centric business in the world. His goal is almost achieved, with Amazon's total net sales surpassing the half-trillion-dollar mark in 2022, totalling $514 billion. 

Consider how you can develop as a professional and what you want to achieve. Always think of your strategy or vision as a roadmap from A to B. Do you have a good approach to accomplishing your business or career goals?

My Job Is Boring: 8 Ways to Combat Boredom

#1: Break Up Tedious Tasks and Days: When your energy naturally decreases, tackle monotonous tasks to provide a mental break from more creative work. You don't have to complete these tasks in one go. Instead, schedule them for a few hours in the morning, take a walk, or do something else to boost dopamine levels. Then, return to finish the tasks later in the day.

#2: Set Clear Career Goals: Define specific career goals using the SMART planning technique. Your goals should be: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound. Consider whether you want to grow from QA Manual to Team Lead of QA Automation or increase your earnings by 15% by the end of the quarter. Evaluate how realistic these goals are in your company and set deadlines for each one. Constantly reevaluate your work, set new goals, and aim for challenging tasks.

#3: Inquire About Professional Development: Ask your manager about compensation for development courses and explore growth opportunities in your company. Larger organisations often have dedicated L&D departments that can help you create an individual development plan and may even cover the costs.

#4: Listen to Business and Career Podcasts: Gain inspiration and learn new things from business and career podcasts featuring CEOs and specialists sharing work stories, difficulties, and successes. Consider podcasts like "Work in Progress," "The Rework Podcast," and "TED Business."

#5: Dedicate Time to Passion Projects: Take inspiration from Google's "20% time" rule, allowing employees to spend 20% of their work hours on projects they believe will benefit the company. Use this time to break free from the monotony and find inspiration.

#6: Become a Mentor for New Employees: Help new colleagues integrate into the work process by getting to know them, understanding their expertise, and learning about their professional goals. Choose a mentorship program if available, set training deadlines and regular meetings, and provide transparent and detailed feedback.

#7: Change Your Work Location: Vary your work environment by occasionally working from places like a nice coffee spot instead of always working from home. This change can refresh your routine and mindset.

#8: Consider Changing Projects or Jobs: If boredom stems from overqualification, discuss the possibility of changing projects with your employer. If promotions are unavailable, consider seeking new job opportunities by updating your CV and applying to appealing job vacancies.

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