Do you often feel bored at work? A new OfficeTeam survey finds we're bored at work an average of 10.5 hours per week. That's the equivalent of 68 days per year! All together now: zzzzzzzz.
You're not alone if your mind keeps wandering to your weekend plans. Maybe you reflexively keep checking your phone to see if something new is there, only to find that nothing new has transpired since you last checked five minutes ago.
Maybe you're snacking constantly to fill the time, putting a few more steps on your Fitbit to stay entertained, or chatting up the administrative assistant about a favorite band. Because boredom. It's all in a day's work.
A Respite From the Repetitive Workplace
But wait: the modern workplace is supposed to be full of fun, excitement and interesting work! Actually, let's choose an adjective other than "interesting," because my journalism professors back in the day would always cross out the word "interesting" with a big, red Sharpie and scrawl in the side margin: "DO NOT USE THE WORD INTERESTING BECAUSE IT DOES NOT LEND ANY MEANING!" If you want to piss off a journalism professor, then use the word "interesting" and see what happens.
But back to the point: the modern workplace is supposed to be full of fun, excitement and engaging work! We can't blame modern Millennial working professionals for expecting constant excitement at work, because it's the picture that is painted for them over and over again in business magazines, movies and TV shows. Work will set us free. Work should be endlessly exhilarating!
Except when it's not, which, as we've just learned, averages 68 days per year for most working professionals. So bored. What are we doing with all this downtime?
Luckily, OfficeTeam has created a workplace ennui activity list of our favorite I'm-so-bored pastimes. Here they are:
1. Have rubber band battles with coworkers
2. Make grocery lists and cut coupons
3. Learn another language
4. Do crossword puzzles
5. Play ping pong
7. Make videos
8. Pay bills
9. Watch TV or movies online
10. Work on the book I'm writing
11. Play online games
13. Act like I'm
14. Clean my desk
15. Ask for more work
16. Look for other jobs
The last one of the list should concern employers, since OfficeTeam reports two in five employees (40%) said it's "likely" they would quit their job if they "felt bored" at work. Managers need to keep employees busy, but not overloaded with the work of three people. There's a balance in there somewhere.
Also, I have to admire the employees who will ask for more work when they're bored. That's some initiative right there.
Bottom line: all jobs have tedious moments of downtime, and downright boredom. Even highly-paid movie stars sit in a trailer for hours on end playing Xbox waiting for their next scene. We have to make due while we're waiting for our next close-up. Maybe we can finally learn Japanese.