If meeting fatigue is crushing your will to live or if the work you’re doing isn’t challenging anymore, you are not alone.
Most Australians (87%) are bored at work and spend an average of six hours each week disengaged from their job, according to a survey of 460 Australian managers.
On average, we spend 16% of each week bored because the nature of the work isn’t interesting (44%), we get called to too many meetings (37%) and there’s a lack of diversity in the role (34%).
The survey by specialised recruiter Robert Half shows employees in Western Australia seem to be the most bored. Their with managers estimate that staff spend more than six (6.4) hours a week uninterested in their jobs.
The boredom lasts for six hours in Queensland, the same in Victoria and 5.25 hours in New South Wales.
“Boredom in the workplace can happen and should not be alarming if it’s limited and happens sporadically,” says Nicole Gorton, Director of Robert Half Australia.
“The impact, however, on organisational productivity from consistently disengaged staff cannot be underestimated as it can ultimately lead to lacklustre business results and even decreased revenue.”
Gorton says companies can’t afford to have a bored work force.
“The impact of a disengaged workforce not only affects company productivity and results – bored employees are more likely to look for other jobs that spark their interests, resulting in higher staff turnover rates,” she says.
“This is particularly true for career-driven Millennials, who are gradually making up the bulk of the modern workforce.”
The top five reasons Australians are bored at work:
The work is not interesting. According to 44% of Australian managers, the work not being interesting is the top reason why their staff are bored at work.
“Employees need to be interested in the work they do,” says Gorton. “Even though most jobs have some mundane tasks linked to it, when employees understand how their work is connected to the overall objective, they will generally find the work meaningful which in turn will limit the feeling of boredom in the workplace.”
Meeting fatigue. Workers are bored at work because of an overload of or too many poorly managed meetings, according to 37% of managers.
“Despite aiming for collaboration and efficiency, too many meetings in a workday can become counterproductive and often leave employees with a feeling of boredom because of it,” says Gorton.
“Managers should limit their meetings and run them as efficiently as possible with a set agenda and as a general rule of thumb, limit them to 45 minutes long — any longer and you risk losing the attention of everyone present, leading to meeting fatigue.”
The role isn’t diverse enough. A lack of diversity was identified by 34% of managers as to why their staff are bored.
“Employees can become unenthused with their job if they’re doing the same work every day,” says Gorton.
“Companies can boost engagement by giving staff the opportunity to develop new skills and take on additional responsibilities. Additionally, staff should discuss with their manager ideas on what type of responsibilities they would like to take on as well as how they can diversify their role.”
Lack of a challenge. Australian workers are ready for a challenge, as 31% of managers believe one of the main causes of boredom in the workplace is employees not feeling challenged by their daily workloads.
“The overall majority of employees enjoy a challenge – whether it’s through learning new skills, taking on increased responsibilities or working on a project outside of their primary area of expertise,” says Gorton. “If employees feel like their work is not exciting enough, it may encourage them to look for more interesting work elsewhere.”
Not enough to do. A lack of work is another reason why boredom sets in, according to 27% of Australian managers.
“Companies have to optimise the time their staff invest in their work,” says Gorton.
“If employees are feeling there’s too much idle time in their workday, managers should assign them additional work to keep them occupied, or delegate workloads from staff who may be overworked and would appreciate an extra hand.”