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Boredom is an office epidemic

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There is an epidemic sweeping shared and serviced office spaces from London to Bristol and Milton Keynes to Reading, and its chronic boredom.

One in four people who work in offices suffer from it, according to new research carried out by the University of Central Lancashire.

What is more is that it is not just taking its toll on the productivity of the workforce, but also on employees’ health, as they turn to unhealthy food and drinks to break up the monotony.

Of those surveyed, 25 per cent said they ate chocolate and drank coffee in the office for the simple fact that they are bored at work.

Further to this, many respondents said that at the end of a boring day they are more likely to have an alcoholic drink.

Mistakes on the job and a loss of concentration was put down to boredom by four out of five people and as many as half of office workers said they may look for a different position as their current role was boring them.

It has been suggested that an undemanding workload is leading to this boredom but scientists have recently found that increased stress has lead more office workers to drink excessively.

Bosses are reminded that undemanding does not mean a light workload, as many members of staff have more work than ever to complete, but the nature of the job is monotonous.

Implementing different routines into the workday can help to overcome boredom and also supplying workers with varying tasks to carry out.

By changing activities, workplace boredom can be side stepped as staff have to refocus in order to perform a different role.

Snacking is well known to be undertaken often when people get bored, so management should make sure that there are healthy snack options available on site in canteens and vending machines.

Unfortunately there is no easy solution to the problem and the research also found that some people are more predisposed to boredom than others, making it harder to overcome.

Dr Sandi Mann, of the University of Central Lancashire, said: “My analysis suggests that the most significant cause of office boredom is an undemanding workload, so managers should look at ways of reducing sources of workplace boredom and encourage better ways of coping.”