Almost half of employees are both bored and exhausted, reveals new research by emlyon business school.

The study, conducted by Lotta Harju, Professor of Work and Organisational Psychology at emlyon business school, investigated the prevalence and persistence of boredom and exhaustion manifest among Finnish and UK workers.

Furthermore, the researcher found that the employees’ experience of exhaustion and boredom did not change of a study period of 18 months, or if it did, it changed towards worse.

The researchers carried out two studies, the first was a questionnaire sent to UK-based employees, the second was two questionnaires (18 months apart) to employees in 40 Finnish municipalities. 

“The findings show that bored employees are often exhausted and that this is not just a passing experience but prevails and persists at workplaces.” says Lotta Harju.

The study shows that the reason why employees can be both bored and exhausted lies in job demands that hinder the performance of work, such as red-tape, organisational regulations and role conflict.

“Merely intensifying work may not be an effective cure for all boredom at work and may even backfire by straining the employees. Reducing those aspects of work that make it unnecessarily complicated for the people to perform may be a better way to improve overall well-being of the employees,” Harju adds.

The study uses data from over 2700 employees and was published in the Journal of Vocational behaviour. 

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