American workers report being bored an average of 10.5 hours a week, a new survey from staffing firm OfficeTeam finds. That’s more than a full day a week, or the equivalent of 68 days a year.
Managers realize there is a problem, but greatly underestimate its extent, estimating their staff is likely disinterested about six hours each week.
They should pay more attention: two in five employees (40 percent) said it’s likely they’d quit their job if they felt bored at work.
Employees were asked what they do when they’re bored in the office. In addition to browsing the internet, checking personal email and social media, and chatting with coworkers, here are some of their more creative activities:
· “Have rubber band battles with coworkers”
· “Make grocery lists and cut coupons”
· “Learn another language”
· “Do crossword puzzles”
· “Play ping pong”
· “Make videos”
· “Pay bills”
· “Watch TV or movies online”
· “Work on the book I’m writing”
· “Play online games”
· “Act like I’m interested in the work and meetings”
· “Clean my desk”
· “Ask for more work”
· “Look for other jobs”
“Let’s face it, the workday isn’t always filled with excitement. Managers can regularly check in with staff to ensure they’re engaged, but the onus is also on employees,” said Brandi Britton, a district president for OfficeTeam. “When boredom strikes or there’s a lull in activity, individuals should proactively ask to help with projects that challenge and interest them.”
Of all respondent groups, male workers and those ages 18 to 34 are bored the most per week (12 hours and 14 hours, respectively).
Men (46 percent) and employees ages 18 to 34 (52 percent) are also most likely to leave their current position if bored.
In general, nearly four in 10 senior managers (39 percent) believe staff have too much work to do in their jobs. How about that?