This originally appeared on Forbes on July 26, 2022.
Employee burnout is top of mind for employers on the heels of the great resignation or great reshuffle. A recent McKinsey survey reports high levels of burnout and distress amongst employees, with 74% of HR leaders in the U.S. committing to make mental health a top priority. But what if burnout isn't the top problem at work we should be worrying about? What if it is burnout's opposite state — boredom — that's the real insidious threat to wellbeing?
"Boreout" at work is chronic boredom, and studies have shown it can cause depression, anxiety, stress, insomnia and higher turnover. Boredom is an emotional state characterized by feeling unstimulated, unfocused and restless, yet lacking the desire to engage. Or in short — boredom exists when we are mentally idle. While individual differences in how prone we are to boredom exist, everyone has felt it at one point or another at work. This boredom matters because a Korn Ferry survey claims that boredom is the top reasonwhy people leave their jobs.