What’s one thing that is extremely detrimental to both employers and employees? Boredom at work!
I once worked with an adult client wanting to make a career change. She was an extremely talented individual, and in talking with her about her then current employer she says she felt like she was just a “warm body”. One of the main reasons she wanted a change was because she was bored as a gourd at work! She worked for a government contractor (a waste of taxpayer money as she sat there bored) and none of her talents and skills were being utilized in that role.
Also consider a quote from a book, Tribes by Seth Godin:
“Consider the receptionist at a publishing company I visited a week later. There she was, doing nothing. Sitting at a desk, minding her own business, bored out of her skull. She acknowledged that the front office is very slow and that she just sits there, reading romance novels and waiting. And she’s been doing it for two years.”
Two thoughts come to mind on boredom at work:
1. What a waste of money! As a leader, why would you pay people to be bored?
2. What a waste of talent! This may even be more of a shame. Leaders should be making more leaders, and leadership isn’t cultivated through boredom.
What if you are an employee and bored?
Two courses of action exist:
1. Change your work environment. You may want to check out these two posts to discover if there is a better fit for you in the workplace:
2. Proactively ask for challenging or varied tasks. Does your boss seem overloaded and stressed, but you are reading your romance novel? Simply ask him/her if there is something you can help with. If they don’t volunteer anything (why they aren’t volunteering, is again, a topic for another day) pay attention to what they are spending time on and see if you can help them without being asked. Prove your worth and your talents by proactively getting things done without being asked to do so.