Holiday period at work? This way, you won’t be bored!

By 2DAYSMOODIES | 02/08/2021

What are you going to do this summer? Have your holiday planned in September, or maybe already had it? Are you going abroad or are you planning a holiday in your own country? If you have not planned a holiday, then you are simply 'stuck' at the office. If this is also your prospect, then as an employee you are faced with an important choice. Are you going to face a summer full of boredom at work, or will you opt for freedom, development and even productivity?

In this blog I tempt you to consciously choose the latter option. At 2DAYSMOOD we help organizations and their employees to continuously map and improve mood at work. With scientific insights and practical tips, we give every employee the tools to flourish in his or her position.

Below, I've put together 9 varied tips for you, so you too can thrive this summer, recognizing, fighting and preventing boredom at work!

Why is boredom at work dangerous?

Before I give you the 'anti-boredom' tips, let's take a step back. Is boredom at work really such a problem? According to an American survey of 382 office workers and 307 senior managers, it appears that employees are bored for 10.5 hours a week and that 2 in 5 employees would quit their job if they were bored (OfficeTeam, 2017). Those are pretty staggering numbers in and of themselves.

But it could be worse… Namely if you are bored in your position for a long time and on a structural basis. This can sometimes lead to a bore-out. You can see a bore-out as a burn-out due to boredom. According to research by the Flemish doctor and burnout specialist Luc Swinnen, 15% of employees have to deal with burnout or bore-out complaints. In half of the cases it concerns a bore-out. In short, you can divide the bore-out into two types: either there is a lot of work, but it is not satisfying, or it is too little, too easy or too monotonous work (Frouke Vermeulen, 2015).

Negative consequences of boredom

Suffering from boredom at work or a bore-out is not only 'annoying' for the employee in question. It is, of course, not nothing if you feel stressed, lifeless, irritable or even depressed 5 days a week. But the consequences are also extremely disadvantageous for the employer. Think of poorer performance (procrastination), decreasing productivity (being busy with social media or other private matters) and increasing absenteeism due to fatigue, stress and lower engagement (lack of interest in work).

Boredom at work can happen at anytime and to anyone. But now that the quiet holiday period has started, many employees are extra prone to that boredom. Fortunately, you can ensure that boredom does not become structural and turns into a bore-out. With the tips below you can even turn it into satisfaction!

"In some cases of boredom or bore-out there is a lot of work, but it is not satisfying. Then it can help to work more 'brain-friendly' within the tasks you have."

Three tips to recognize boredom at work

How do you know whether you really suffer from structural boredom, or whether you are facing a bore-out? It is often quite difficult to determine why you are not feeling well at work. As mentioned above, boredom often has to do with a lack of variety, satisfaction or challenge. Ask yourself these questions to discover where the bottleneck is for you.

TIP 1: Does your work vary?

You can start very practically. Keep track of the tasks you have worked on every day for a week. At the end of a day, give the tasks two labels. One label for the type of work (consultation, administration, project x, problem solving, development, etc.). And a color label for how much you like the task (green or red). After a week you will have a nice overview and you can analyze yourself whether you find your work varied and enjoyable enough. If you always keep track of your weekly schedule, you can of course also do this retroactively.

TIP 2: Do you work concentrated?

Being distracted all the time, or seeking distraction by constantly switching tasks or browsing the Internet aimlessly, can be a sign of boredom. Check with yourself where your 'concentration leak' is. The Dutch book 'Focus Aan/Uit' (Focus On/Off) describes four types of concentration leaks: too few stimuli, too many internal stimuli, too little fuel and too many external stimuli. Can you easily close your 'leak' to get more satisfaction from ticking off tasks?

TIP 3: Do you work from talents?

Research shows that people who work from their own strengths are three times more likely to rate their quality of life as 'great'. So it's good to check whether you also use your talents in your daily work. For example, do a Clifton Strengths Assessment or another online talent scan.

"You can use the time savings and autonomy that you have during the summer season to create an 'anti-boredom prospect' for yourself."

Three tips to fight boredom at work

TIP 4: Use your freedom to develop

If you experience a quiet summer period at work, you often automatically have more time and freedom (autonomy). In addition, there is also less noise from external stimuli: apps, social media, etc. In fact, the ideal situation to start something productive and concentrated. Spend that time on yourself! Learn a new skill, or read that whitepaper you downloaded a month ago, participate in webinars or other online courses. Learning and development is essential for your employee happiness. It is therefore a proven driver in 2DAYSMOOD's Employee Happiness Model.

TIP 5: Work 'brain-friendly'

In some cases of boredom or bore-out there is a lot of work, but it is not satisfying. Then it can help to work in a more 'brain-friendly' way within the tasks you have. Because sometimes you just have to finish tasks or projects, after all, they are part of your job. Think of things promised to customers or colleagues! How can you perform those tasks more relaxed and with more satisfaction? According to a blog by Marketing agency Stramark, the three commandments of brain-friendly working are: eradicate task switching, protect thinking, and disconnect for archiving. For both boredom and stress, they can be your remedy.

TIP 6: Do physical chores!

With this last pest control tip you kill two birds with one stone. Are you at the office for a day, and do you still have a mess that has not been cleaned up for months, a photo wall that needs to be covered, or do you finally want to hang that cool plant construction from the ceiling? Do it! Make it fun together with a colleague. Maybe one you haven't seen in a while. Physical exertion and a tidy environment can give a lot of positive energy and satisfaction. Moreover, it is a great opportunity to strengthen the relationship with your colleagues.

Three tips to avoid boredom at work

TIP 7: Do preparatory work

Are you constantly bored at work in the summer? Make sure that this does not persist or worsen after the summer. To prevent this, you can use the time savings and autonomy you have during the summer season to create a nice 'anti-boredom prospect' for yourself. For example, you have time to redesign your work processes, to structurally adjust your weekly or monthly schedule, to review your work-life balance, to network internally or externally, to implement a new tool, to innovate… Think about where you can spend your time now can invest to work more efficiently, more concentrated, more varied, more fun or more energetic in September.

TIP 8: Go on an internal road trip!

While some of your colleagues may be celebrating their holiday in the living room, their garden or on the Côte d'Azur, you can also take a trip. Have you discovered that you lack variety in your tasks? Or that you no longer get positive energy from it? Then do an internal road trip during the summer. Plan informal conversations with other teams and departments and see which activities or working methods appeal to you in those places. Perhaps you can bring more balance and challenge to your position by taking the fun work of other teams off your hands.

TIP 9: Link daily goals to values

You've probably heard that setting daily goals works. And it works even better if you also write down those goals (as shown by this research, among other things). Pretty easy, right? But if you want to continue to get satisfaction from your work in the long term, it is smart to link those daily goals to higher goals. This is also recommended by author and development expert Brian Tracy.

What are your personal values, your motivations, your life motto? Make sure they are visible in a certain way, also at work. For example, a photo of your family as a screensaver. This way, every time you rip that 'done' post-it off the (virtual) wall or cross something out in your notepad, you can also remind yourself that you are one step closer to your desired vision of life. That's what satisfaction is all about!

In short, you don't have to be bored even in the summer!

Do you want more insight into how your employees are doing? With 2DAYSMOOD's innovative tool, you always have relevant insights in just 15 seconds a week. Look here!

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