Not enough to do? Employees say they’re bored at work
If you find yourself twiddling your thumbs, tapping your pencil or staring into space at work because you're bored, you've got company.
According to a new survey by OfficeTeam — a professional talent search firm with offices in New Jersey — professionals admit they're bored in the office an average of 10.5 hours a week. That's the equivalent of 68 days a year.
But OfficeTeam metro market manager Dora Onyschak says most managers underestimate the extent to which their staff gets disinterested.
About 40 percent of those surveyed say it's likely they'd quit their job if they felt bored at work. While 45 percent of employees are bored throughout the year, another 28 percent say work is the most tedious during the winter.
So why the long faces? Onyschak says it's possible that "they're not having enough work, not being challenged at work, not having interesting work assignments to do, maybe they're in too many meetings and not working enough."
Onyschak says the survey also finds that men ages 18-34 are bored the most per week and are also most likely to leave their position if bored.
"There could be a connection between them being able to complete tasks faster in terms of technology or digital know-how so they could have more free time that isn't being used," says Onyschak.
She says the 18-34 age group tends to always be up for a challenge and they tend to lose focus if an employer is not providing a challenge.
Onyschak says they act like they're working, read the news, listen to podcasts and music, go for walks, take care of personal tasks, pay the bills and talk on the phone.
In order not to feel disengaged at work, employees need to ask for feedback and ask for work, says Onyschak. Take action. Find out if there's a project you can work on that challenges you. She also says it's a good idea to take courses to help with your professional development.
From an employer's perspective, Onyschak suggests "checking in on their team to make sure that they're engaged and happy, encouraging them to take on new responsibilities and projects especially things that are going challenge people and help them build a new skill set."
But even if you do everything and anything you can to make your job interesting, it may not work and that may mean it's time to leave, she says.
But before you jump ship, says Onyschak, ask yourself if you're really happy or passionate about your career. Think about what you want to do. Put a game plan in action. You don't want to move from one place to another doing the same job if you're bored.
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