Boreout Syndrome: What it is and how it affects workers

‘Boreout’ syndrome has its origin in the English word “boredom” (boredom) and describes a prolonged and profound state of work demotivation, manifested as boredom and constant lack of interest.

‘Boreout’ syndrome arises from monotony and lack of challenge in the work environment and can have negative consequences for mental health.

People who suffer from this syndrome feel that they are not useful and they believe that their tasks are too monotonous and tedious, or that they do not correspond to their abilities, either because they have many or none.

Nearly 20% of workers doubt themselves and their work, according to a study by Cigna 360-Vitality.

This can cause, on the one hand, that they do their job very easily and because they have time to spare in their working day they get bored, or on the other hand, that they have the feeling that they will never be able to do a job with great responsibility and feel undervalued for it.

In this context, boredom generates restlessness and anxiety due to the feeling that time is not moving forward and, above all, of not being productive and procrastinating,” says Amira Bueno, Director of Human Resources at Cigna Healthcare Spain.

Just like the famous ‘burnout’Boreout is a syndrome that significantly affects the well-being of workers. For this reason, it becomes one of the main issues that arise in companies.

boreout symptoms

This syndrome can lead to symptoms such as:

• Constant feeling of mental fatigue.

• Irritability.

• Lack of concentration.

• Social isolation.

• Strong indifference to the tasks within the company.

• Low mood that can generalize and even affect the personal area.

Dr. Daniela Silva, eHealth Medical Manager at Cigna Healthcare, explains that sometimes it is a difficult situation to decipher.

Therefore, “it is important that the company is interested in talking to the employee, how they are, and keeping an eye on them, because sometimes we ourselves, as workers, do not know exactly what is happening to us,” says the specialist.

How long can the syndrome last?

The doctor clarifies that the duration depends a lot on each situation. There are people who can be in an operative task for a long time and not have any problems and others who have been there for a few months and develop symptoms.

It also depends a lot on the employee’s expectations regarding the work he or she does.

For this reason, “it is important to know how to identify the warning signs and signals in order to be able to intervene effectively,” the doctor stresses.

What can we do as workers?

Daniela Silva explains that it is important that as workers we pause to reflect on our tasks at work and on how we feel in order to truly identify the problem and solve it.

This is followed by an analysis phase to examine which aspects are boring or unsatisfactory.

Once the analysis has been completed, the doctor recommends communicating the situation to the person responsible and suggesting possible changes in responsibilities with which to improve the circumstances.

“It is important to prioritize our mental health and set personal and professional goals,” says the doctor.

Another solution that Silva proposes is to practice relaxation techniques during the day that help lower cortisol levels, the stress hour.

The jobs with the highest risk

Workers at greatest risk are those who perform repetitive, monotonous, highly mechanical, and non-challenging tasks.

One of the examples that the doctor gives is an office job, with daily worksadministrative, topics that are very operational and that require little analysis from the worker.

Does it occur more in men or women?

“Both men and women can experience boreout,” says the expert.

It is true that women tend to have more responsibilities culturally, for example, at the family level, which causes them to have greater dynamism in their daily lives, while men, by dedicating more time exclusively to work, have a greater risk of getting bored and having boreout, since they perform work-related tasks for more hours a day.

However, Silva clarifies that it is not a question of gender, but rather of the work context.

How to keep employees happy

It is important that companies identify which workers may be at risk of developing this type of syndromes, says the professional.

Dr. Silva explains that some of the mechanisms that companies can use to avoid boreout are to offer training activities, present new challengesprovide the opportunity to employees and delegate tasks to them with greater responsibility.

“It is very important that workers feel autonomous,” he says.

This refers to giving the employee enough confidence to be able to carry out his tasks and not always being on top of him with strict and very detailed monitoring.

Tips for taking action

Daniela Silva encourages workers not to be afraid and to contact the company if they think they suffer from boreout syndrome.

The most appropriate thing is to speak with the direct manager honestly and with a prepared idea of ​​what is going to be said,” he recommends.

The doctor advises that the worker first identify what is happening and directly propose a solution or recommendations so that the circumstances change, rather than simply express a complaint or concern.

In this way, the worker’s interest in growing and performing tasks that are different and challenging will be notable.

(With information from EFE)

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