By most accounts, 2020 has been an “interesting” year so far—although many of you would probably agree this isn’t the kind of interesting we’d like to repeat! COVID-19 has forced many workers to go fully remote, and for technology professionals, this may be good or bad, depending on your personality.
As we near the fourth quarter, many of these new routines have turned into our new normal. You may find that you’re feeling a bit bored at work. What does that mean? Should you do something about it or ride it out? Psychology Today took a look at boredom in the workplace. Here’s what they say about feeling bored on the job and what you should do about it.
Being Bored at Work
An older Gallup poll in 2015 suggested that 55% of employees are bored on the job. In 2018 they repeated the poll, but the numbers still weren’t great, with just 34% of U.S. workers reporting they were engaged at their jobs. Psychology Today describes the workplace phenomena as, “They feel like their capabilities aren’t being tapped into and utilized and therefore, they really don’t have a psychological connection to the organization.” What’s going on?
Checking out from the work you do has all kinds of ramifications for the organization you serve. For example, if you’re a factory worker that’s just phoning it in, being bored could impact your on-the-job safety. On the other end of the spectrum in IT, being bored could mean not exploring new ways to solve problems, which is when innovation declines in our field.
When workers are busy and productive, there is an understanding that they are valuable employees actively contributing to a goal. Human beings seek this kind of engagement, especially knowledge workers in the technology field. Psychology Today suggests being bored increases stress levels, stating, “The less you work at work, the more internal agony you will feel.” This could cause stress-related illnesses to increase, which, the article points out, costs employers $300 billion in lost revenue and $200 million in lost workdays.
Becoming bored at work may have happened slowly. If you’ve been in the same job for a while, your ability to complete tasks becomes more honed, so the challenge declines. Without additional challenges, training, or responsibilities, it’s natural to start to feel boredom creep up.
But boredom could also be the result of feeling like you simply do not fit in with the team or even the job. You may do your best to find the right cultural fit when you take a new job, but until you get there, it’s hard to know if the work and the environment are good for you. It could be that the entire team lacks your sense of urgency or the opposite may be true, where you’ve stepped into a disorganized, chaotic mess that is constantly in crisis. Being in crisis mode all the time tends to numb people out over time.
Either way, you’re finding yourself increasingly disconnected from the work and those around you. You may even realize that the job is a dead end. If you’re ambitious and want to learn new skills but the opportunity (which may have been promised) never arises.
All of these things can create boredom on the job, which is both a motivation and an innovation killer. What do you do?
The answer is to call Blackstone Talent Group and start a conversation with a team that is determined to help you succeed. If you’re bored at work, you don’t have to be. IT workers are still in demand, so call on us now to find out more.