Corporate Red Tape Is Causing Employee Boreout

Published: 24 Feb 2023

Corporate processes that hinder productivity leads to boredom at work that can further lead to burnout, finds new research by emlyon business school.

The study, conducted by professor Lotta Harju, investigated the relations between job stressors, boredom at work and burnout.

The study found that organizational red-tape lead to more ‘boreout’, a feeling of constant boredom and loss of interest in their work. Boreout may further lead employees to reduce effort at work that may manifest in ‘quiet quitting’. Boredom at work may also deteriorate employee mental health, as the study found that employee boredom may increase burnout.

“It is typically assumed that boreout results from not having enough work to do, but this is not what we find at all. Rather having to deal with bureaucratic hassles and carry out tasks that seem pointless drive boredom at work. When this becomes the status quo at work it can impair employee health and well-being.”

The researcher advises companies to regularly check-in with their employees to ensure their workload is manageable and to evaluate whether they are spending their work time on things that matter and make sense.

The data for this study were collected among Flemish employees in 2018, who participated in a survey about well-being at work.

The participants represented a variety of professional positions, and just under 60 percent were women.

The study was published in the Journal of Vocational Behaviour.

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