Burnout or boreout?

Burnout is at an all-time high since spring 2021, according to new research from Future Forum. The 42% marks a new record since Future Forum began measuring work burnout in May 2021. At that time, 38% of workers reported burnout. Of 10,243 full-time desk-based workers polled in six countries including the United States and the United Kingdom, over 40% said they are burned out, which the World Health Organization defines as an increased mental distance from one’s job, feelings of energy depletion and negativism.

Common causes of burnout include: lack of adequate social support; taking on more than one can handle at work, school, or interpersonally with family and friends; and poor self-care.

But what happens if, instead of overwork and sustained pressure, you have too little?


What is boreout?

Turns out, burnout has a sibling called boreout, where people struggle with the “daily sameness” of their job. This phenomenon is for many people, represents another — subtler and less well-known — form of burnout.

Boredom at work is a real problem for business today. According to a survey published in January by the Korn Ferry Institute, the leading reason respondents reported looking for a new job was that they were bored with the job they currently hold. And, participants in an OfficeTeam study reported feeling bored for at least 10.5 hours per week. (Source)


Identifying she 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.


Some information:

  • Boreout is a form of exhaustion that emanates from boredom.
  • Unlike burnout, it is caused by an insufficient workload and chronic boredom.
  • You’re not in a state of boreout every time you’re bored.
  • But this condition can be the result of repeated boredom.
  • Signs may include decreased self-esteem, absenteeism, increased stress or disengagement from work.


Forbes magazine shared an interesting approach on the subject: “Why Boredom At Work Is More Dangerous Than Burnout”

According to the article: “Boreout” at work is chronic boredom, and studies have shown it can cause depression, anxiety, stress, insomnia and higher turnover. Boredom is an emotional state characterized by feeling unstimulated, unfocused and restless, yet lacking the desire to engage. Or in short — boredom exists when we are mentally idle. While individual differences in how prone we are to boredom exist, everyone has felt it at one point or another at work. This boredom matters because a Korn Ferry survey claims that boredom is the top reason why people leave their jobs.

So, what’s the solution?

The boreout syndrome results from a lack of care and attention to the employee experience.

You should quickly review your company’s wellbeing approach.

Employee wellbeing measures your employees’ health, including their physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual states.

It signifies the sustainability of your employee engagement and indicates whether your employees will be able to maintain their engagement over an extended period.

Call us to get more detailed information.

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