Do you have burnout or ‘bore-out’?

Written by: Charlotte Rogers
Published On: 20 Apr 2020

Burnout or Boreout Hero Image

We all know the term burnout, but if you are having troubles at work, are you sure that burnout is the underlying problem? The term burnout refers to being over-stimulated at work for over extended periods of time. Whereas, the term ‘boreout’ refers to when you are being under-stimulated at work or perhaps your lack of motivation is getting in the way of your goals. Being both overworked and underworked can have similar effects on a person and how they feel about their job. Negative feelings about your job can often leave you feeling confused about where you stand at work. Understanding what you are feeling and why, can help you overcome this and decide how to take things forward.

What can cause boreout?

There may be some days at work where you may feel like you have done all the tasks you could possibly squeeze out of your workload. You may have finished all of your daily tasks in the first half of your day and you’re now wondering what to do with the rest of your time? Everyone may have these days at some point, it’s normal in work life. However, when this becomes your daily norm, that’s when it can start having negative effects on how you feel about your job. Everyone wants to have a purpose at work, otherwise there’s almost no point in being there. Sitting around all day with too little to do, is not good for us and most people crave something interesting to get them through the day, it’s normal. Sometimes boreout can be caused by being overqualified for the job you have, other times it is the employer at fault, and you should think about talking about your situation before things get too bad.

Take time to think about your day-to-day work life. Are your days the same as when you started? Are tasks being distributed evenly throughout the team? Having boreout can sometimes cause you to feel a little left out and sometimes you may feel like you are not a valid member of the team. Being bored day in and day out can really affect how you feel about your career, so it is better to try and solve the problem before it becomes a major one.


How to overcome boreout at work?

Ask yourself why – You want to ask yourself why you started this job in the first place. Evaluate whether or not the job itself has changed and whether the role is still aligned with your career goals or not. You don’t want to continue working in a job that is going to make you unhappy and allow you the time and space to grow into the professional you want to be. Being able to sit down and take the time to think about what you really want, can lift your spirits and allow you to see past the bad sides of your job.

Solutions – Once you have asked yourself why you are in this job, start to plan some solutions for how you are going to get yourself out of this situation. Where does the lack of meaning in your work come from? If it is just lack of work, you can ask your boss to try and find you some new responsibilities or even see if you can help with your co-workers’ workload. Try and solve the problem the way you see fit.

Experiment – At the beginning it may be easier for you to try and make smaller changes to see if it effects the way you feel about your job. When you are feeling negatively about your role, it can cause you to make rash decisions. Analyse your situation and then act upon it, sometimes when you are feeling burnout or boreout you can make sudden decisions you may regret. Take your time and ultimately, do what suits you best.

If you think you could be experiencing boreout at work and you don’t know what to do about it, try and take some time to yourself. Whether that be taking an evening to evaluate your situation or taking a day of annual leave, you might need to step back from work for a while to figure out what changes you want to make. Having no motivation and being bored at work every single day is not going to help you in your career. So, try and make sure that you make changes that are going to help you progress.