Employee boredom and productivity

Over 70% of the Irish workforce are bored in their jobs according to our most recent Employment Market Monitor.

Our research also found that ¾ of those surveyed were considering a career change and didn’t believe that age was a deterrent.  This means that a large proportion of our workforce aren’t satisfied or productive in their roles.

“Workplace boredom is a big issue for employers since it leads to lost productivity and lost talent” said Siobhan O’Shea, Client Services Director, Cpl Resources.

“Often management don’t understand the day to day processes of their workers’ roles.  Some roles need not be mundane, but if technology isn’t being embraced, an inefficient, old-fashioned approach might be destroying or delaying staff outputs.  Such staff may need assistance to find new, innovative ways to execute their roles in a fulfilling way,” she added.

While boredom is widespread, the research indicated some sectoral differences:

More workers are satisfied in the Science & Engineering sector.  Only 2/3 (66%) want to change careers in the future, which is less than the average of ¾ (75%).  Only 62% feel bored at work which is 5% less than the average.

Also, the boredom threshold for healthcare workers is much higher, with almost 40% never feeling bored (7% more than the average). This is more than likely due to the fact healthcare workers have large workloads and tend to be quite busy?

Boredom at work can cause a serious dip in employee morale, engagement, and productivity.

How to spot bored employees

Your employees are likely to look productive and engaged, even when they’re considering moving to a new company. There are subtle signs like a minor change in their routine or general attitude, as well as obvious ones like a major shift in the quality of their work. Some signals to look out for include:

  • An increasingly negative attitude
  • Inability to focus and growing distractibility
  • Changes in routine, like arriving late or departing early, taking more sick days
  • More time spent on their phone or social media
  • Rushing through projects or doing the bare minimum required
  • Lack of interest in work events outside core business hours

What needs to change

The biggest contributors to workplace boredom are unchallenging work and a lack of opportunities to learn. As an employer, you must find ways to help your employees upskill and grow. Encourage your teams to learn something new at every stage of their career, so that they upgrade their knowledge and don’t lag behind the competition. When employees feel inspired and learn new things, the chances of them getting bored are much less.

Engage your employees and boost their creativity

Encourage your staff to contribute to your company beyond their day-to-day tasks; let them refine or improve processes, create new ideas etc. This way you will get to capitalise on their innovations, but also ensure that your employees are engaged and feel connected to the company.

As a manager assign work but don’t micromanage. Let your employees come up with their own ways of doing things, unless you find their methods are yielding bad results. Managers should grow leaders, and by letting your team members creativity flow, you are inspiring them to enjoy their work. When you enjoy what you do you don’t get bored of doing it.