Did you know that the lack of stimulation in the work environment can also affect the mental health of employees ? The so-called boreout syndrome is a very common problem, which impacts not only the well-being, but also the organization’s results.
In this post, we’ll explain a little more about the disorder, what are its main causes, how to identify the problem, and what HR can do to prevent and combat it.
What is boreout syndrome?
Originated from the word bored, which means “bored” in English, the boreout syndrome is also known as the boredom or boredom syndrome .
This psychological disorder is mainly caused by a low mental load in the work environment , whether due to a lack of quantitative or qualitative demand.
The phenomenon refers to a state of apathy and disinterest , which takes away the professional’s enthusiasm and pleasure and can directly impact their professional activities.
Unlike what you might imagine, the boreout syndrome is not related to laziness or ill will.
The problem happens when the professional feels undervalued and does not receive incentives, which ends up causing a feeling of disconnection with the company .
burnout syndrome vs. boreout syndrome
Although both problems significantly affect employees’ mental health , there are differences between burnout and boreout syndromes .
The first is due to excessive stress and emotional tension caused by stressful working conditions.
The boreout syndrome, on the other hand, has a cause opposite to the previous one, it manifests itself when the employee is not stimulated correctly and ends up feeling that their potential and skills are not being used and that their work is useless .
However, it is noteworthy that, although similar, burnout syndrome is such a serious problem that burnout was recognized as an emotional illness by the United Nations (UN).
The boreout syndrome, although worrying, can be resolved in the company’s structure , with employer branding actions and adaptations carried out by HR and managers.
What are the causes of boreout syndrome?
In general, the boreout happens when the person has no stimuli in the work environment , always performing the same activities and developing little.
In most cases, the feeling is associated with an imbalance between the employee’s expectations regarding the work and their real needs.
Still, this dissatisfaction doesn’t need many years of working in the same company for it to start happening.
In fact, it is quite common, often, right after the onboarding process, when the professional realizes that the job description does not match the daily activities , resulting in less challenging tasks and little possibility of growth and development.
In addition, other situations that can lead to boreout are:
- little work and a lot of downtime;
- fewer responsibilities than you could;
- many limitations when proposing ideas;
- functions that do not fit your qualification;
- lack of recognition from leaders and managers;
- lack of growth opportunities in the company;
- monotonous and repetitive activities;
- precarious working conditions;
- excessive conflicts and competition among peers;
- inefficient and unprepared leaders;
- bad organizational climate.
How to identify boreout syndrome?
To recognize the problem, it is possible to observe three very common signs of boreout syndrome:
- indifference: the employee demonstrates a lack of interest and does only what is necessary to not lose his job;
- anguish: the lack of activities compatible with his qualification leaves him annoyed and distressed for a good part of the time;
- Stagnation: the employee feels lost and without perspective with monotonous and meaningless tasks.
In addition to these signs, the symptoms of boreout can also compromise the physical and mental health of employees , bringing problems such as changes in blood pressure, insomnia, irritability, skin diseases and psychological instability, which can lead to crises of anxiety, depression, panic and phobias.
Furthermore, in addition to affecting the employee’s well-being, the boreout syndrome also has very negative consequences for the organization .
Therefore, it is important that managers pay attention to the teams and analyze each one of the employees to identify signs.
Generally, people who are experiencing the problem tend to lie frequently, are late longer than usual, and seem uncommitted.
Also, dissatisfaction can lead to a feeling of resentment towards leaders and the company.
What is the importance of taking care of employees’ mental health?
When we talk about boreout syndrome, it is common for some managers to believe that to solve the problem, it is enough to nip it in the bud and dismiss the employee who is not showing the necessary results.
But not quite.
Taking care of the mental health of professionals is essential for any company that wants to maintain productivity and efficiency .
Therefore, it is necessary to keep in mind that employees are not numbers, that behind each professional there is a person with their own life, problems and expectations.
Thus, it is up to HR and managers to provide a work environment that generates satisfaction and motivation for professionals , promoting well-being, quality of life and achievements.
This type of investment does not only bring results for the mental health of employees, but also has a positive impact on the company’s results, ensuring an important differential in the market.
How to prevent and fight boreout syndrome?
There are several initiatives that HR, together with managers, can promote in the company to fight and prevent the boreout syndrome. Below, we list some best practices.
Know your collaborators
The first step to ensure motivated and satisfied professionals is to get to know them.
Understanding the profile of each employee, what they value and how they become more motivated can help manage people more efficiently.
Furthermore, knowing the professionals helps managers understand that each person is different and has their own characteristics, expectations and abilities.
In this way, it is possible to better target the tasks to those who really do well in the area, valuing each potential.
Keep an open channel of communication
Keeping an open channel for professionals to report their anxieties and frustrations is also essential for managers to know what is wrong and how they can help.
Often, the lack of dialogue can intensify the feeling of powerlessness, making the employee feel less and less valued.
Therefore, it is important to provide communication channels, in addition to holding periodic meetings for feedback and satisfaction surveys and organizational climate .
Also, with these tools, HR can measure the perception of professionals about the work environment, the leadership and functions of the position, understanding problems, areas for improvement and avoiding the boreout syndrome.
Goals and objectives are great allies to prevent and fight boreout syndrome. This is because they give meaning to the employee’s work and show that he is evolving in one direction.
Thus, the professional starts to work to achieve the established goals, leaving the position of indifference in search of a purpose.
When the company does not have defined goals and objectives, the employee ends up being very loose and loses perspectives, believing that their work is not important and has no value for the organization.
Adopt incentive marketing actions
Incentive marketing is a set of actions that are taken to encourage employees to give their best .
Thus, the actions taken aim to recognize and value professionals, making them more motivated in their roles.
For implementation, it is possible to use real awards to recognize talent who have achieved the proposed goals and objectives.
In addition to rewarding professionals, it is important to publicize the campaign throughout the company, ensuring complete engagement .
Analyze and reorganize workflows
It is not enough to simply implement actions to recognize and value professionals.
It is also necessary to analyze the structures and culture of the company to understand what is wrong and to reorganize the work flows.
As we have seen, one of the causes of the boreout syndrome occurs when the employee is idle or is responsible for tasks that are far below his qualifications.
On the other hand, overworked and stressed employees can suffer from burnout.
Thus, the best way to take care of everyone’s mental health is by organizing tasks and ensuring that all employees have a routine that makes sense with their qualifications.
In addition, it is important that the company offers opportunities for growth and development, ensuring that professionals can evolve while they are in the company.
In this sense, well-structured career plans are also good options to guarantee not only the professionals’ motivation, but also their retention, minimizing the feeling of stagnation and the lack of perspectives.