Friday, 21 May 2010

Are you suffering from boreout?

Boreout is a term coined by Philippe Rothlin and Peter Werder to describe demotivation as a result of repetitive, uninteresting and unchallenging work, particularly among office workers. It’s estimated that 15 per cent of office workers are affected. Tell-tale signs are turning up for work lacking energy and enthusiasm, spending time surfing the internet, chatting to colleagues and generally trying to look busy when in reality you’re not.

Those with advanced boreout may find themselves resorting to tactics such as those adopted by Financial Times journalist Roger Boyes:
I remember while working for the Financial Times in the 1970s that colleagues developed an "Italian Jacket" syndrome. A spare jacket, kept in the office, would be spread over the back of your chair, a half-drunk cup of coffee would be placed next to the phone – and you could disappear for a couple of hours. The editor would assume that you were briefly somewhere else in the building.
If you’re starting to wonder if you’re possibly suffering from boreout, here’s a quick test to administer before you book an appointment with the doctor, occupational psychologist or (cough, cough) executive life-coach.
  1. Do you complete private tasks at work?
  2. Do you feel under-challenged or bored in your job?
  3. Do you sometimes pretend to be busy when you’re not?
  4. Does work leave you tired and listless even when the work itself wasn’t stressful?
  5. Does your work make you feel unhappy?
  6. Do you find your work meaningless?
  7. Be honest: you could do most of your work in less time that it currently takes, couldn’t you?
  8. Is the main reason that you stay in your current job because to move to a new one might require a drop in salary?
  9. Do you send private e-mails to colleagues during working hours?
  10. Are you reading this HR Case Studies blog item in work?

Answer “yes” to four or more questions and it seems you’ve got problems!

Now: leave a comment and let’s see how many of us are suffering from boreout

1 comment:

  1. Yes! Yes! Yes! . . . . (and no, I’m not having a ‘Meg Ryan’ moment – although that might provide my work colleagues with some light relief)!

    And given that it’s Friday and a gorgeous day out there – even more Yes!