HR · 22 May 2017

Employees name monotonous daily tasks as greatest cause of workplace boredom

A quarter of UK employees said they suffered from workplace boredom on a daily basis
A quarter of UK employees said they suffered from workplace boredom on a daily basis

Uninspiring and repetitive daily tasks have led over half of UK employees to look for another job, according to new survey findings.

For the 1,200 workers surveyed by job site CV-Library, undertaking the same tasks day in, day out was the greatest contributor to workplace boredom, cited by over a quarter of respondents.

Over a fifth of employees were unable to engage with their work for the simple reason that they disliked their job, while 16.6 per cent said their responsibilities had become “tedious” and unenjoyable.

Worryingly for bosses, workers were more likely to be bored on a daily basis then weekly, and the findings might shock small business owners into action. 

Commenting on the extent of workplace boredom among British employees, Lee Biggins, CV-Library founder, said a lack of inspiration threatened to have a significant impact on the productivity a company as well as staff retention.

“It is very disappointing to see boredom getting the best of the UK’s workers. With so much of our adult lives spent in work, ensuring that you get passion and enjoyment from your career is of paramount importance.

“Prolonged boredom in a job can lead, very quickly, to burnout, low productivity and inevitably a high turnover of staff for businesses, so it’s extremely important that each and every employee in a company feels engaged in their day-to-day work,” Biggins said in a statement.

Employees admitted to creating a number of survival tactics to ward off workplace boredom. To re-engage with their role, 28.8 per cent said they would re-prioritise workloads, while 12.8 per cent listened to music to keep boredom at bay.

Biggins warned employers that such coping mechanisms failed to provide a real solution to the roots of workplace boredom.

“There is clearly a worrying trend of boredom in the workplace. It is up to employers to identify disengaged workers and find ways of reinjecting purpose and interest into their job role, or risk a high turnover of staff as a result.

“In some cases, it may be that workers are simply not in the correct job, and they should take these feelings of boredom as a sign that they need to start searching for a new job that they are passionate about,” Biggins added.

How to inspire staff and tackle workplace boredom

Redesigning an office space to encourage collaboration and creativity could bring considerable benefits for small business owners.

Creating a happy and motivational atmosphere, through flexible working stations and designated social spaces, can refresh a workforce and enhance employee retention.

Employee development strategies can also challenge workplace boredom.

Regularly reviewing goals and responsibilities will help keep staff engaged and enthusiastic, and opportunities for personal growth – arming staff with the tools they need to function at their best – can boost productivity and create a culture of progression within a small company.

Find out why poor mobile phone signal could cause a quarter of employees to resign

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Simon Caldwell is a reporter for Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and communications from the University of Liverpool, and previously worked as a content editor in the ecommerce industry.

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