While many people are passionate about what they do, there’re downsides to almost every job role out there. At some point, some level of tedium may be experienced, whether it’s in the filling out of spreadsheets or attending meetings that seem to only go through the motions.
Still, boredom at the workplace can be incredibly damaging for a firm. Not only does it risk workers not giving their 100% effort to their roles, but one Frenchman actually sued his employer under a phenomenon titled ‘boreout’, a concept that’s reportedly catching on across the UK as of last year also. Keeping workers engaged in their positions was always of high import, but today, it seems the stakes have been raised even higher.
In many cases, it might be that some element of boredom is a necessary evil in some workplace processes. However, that doesn’t mean its presence shouldn’t be countered as much as possible.
Here’s how to minimise boredom within the business environment.
Introduce a Staff Incentive Scheme
Dull moments at work can be made more exciting when some form of reward is on offer.
Bonuses, more paid leave days, or even simple friendly bragging rights – an extra incentive to work can bolster performances and take the worker’s mind off the mundanity of whatever task they’ve been assigned. Suddenly, all the routine decisions they make in their professional lives are injected with a little bit more excitement, which could perhaps be enough to fuel their productivity and boost their morale for the foreseeable future.
It’s best to consider a full range of staff incentive schemes to decide which arrangements may appeal best to your workers. Anything from company cars to vouchers are eligible for consideration. Not only this, but it may also be a good idea to consult your workforce on these matters, and to permit them to choose their own perks, so long as they sit well with you first. That way, you can be more confident that they’ll be satisfied with whatever scheme is put into practice.
Reduce Routine Tedium
All jobs have some tedious aspects to them. Even the most useful tools can be somewhat grating to utilise to the full, too.
However, there’re many ways to greatly reduce the more mundane chores a worker often grapples with. For regular spreadsheet users, macros are the go-to option here. They are a great way to automate repetitive and complex actions when working with Microsoft Excel. After all, not everybody has the patience to simply go through the motions, especially if they’re more elaborate in nature.
It may be a good idea for you and your colleagues to learn VBA code, which will help you set macros within the Microsoft Excel programme specifically. This means that you can map out all your routine inputs in the programme via coding, and the macro will remember the pathways and complete them at the press of a single button in future. Excel Off The Grid have all the codes you need for things like charts and graphs and plenty more, so consult their resources to eliminate time spent gormlessly navigating Excel.
Remember, while it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to use Excel, handy shortcuts can just make the use of it feel less like finding one’s way through a maze. Additionally, with these workarounds, your workers may even come to enjoy and appreciate the programme for what it readily provides, rather than detest it for all the numerous hoops they need to manually jump through to get it to work the way they want it to. Consider VBA coding, and your firm may never look back.
Use Forums as a Marketing Tool
Most of the web users of your business will enjoy surfing forums on occasion in their free time in search of memes and other entertainment.
While it may seem like a waste of company time to introduce this activity into the workplace, it’s possible to make this pastime of theirs an effective marketing strategy that could change much about how your firm runs for the better. After all, people congregate to these online discussion boards to exchange information and ideas. What if the forums in question were relevant to your line of work?
Opportunities you could consider utilising here include:
- Creating your own forum: You could create a discussion board where customers or fans of your product can be part of a flourishing community overtime. This facilitates the word of mouth about your products and services and humanises your firm beyond being a mere commercial entity.
- Source inspiration: Relevant forums give you a direct line to your target market and their wants and wishes for the future. What products and services do they want to see? Can you gauge the mood and appetite of your audience? Do certain products out there illicit a bigger response than others?
- Monitoring competitors: It might be that some forum users regularly praise or criticise your competitors. This information is highly valuable to your firm and may influence the direction your company goes on to take.
All this insight can be possible from simply appeasing your worker’s desire to surf the web on occasion. The internet can be a valuable research tool and a relaxing way to kill a few minutes simultaneously, so if you trust those you’re working with well enough, great things may transpire here.
Encourage Music Usage
Music can be a powerful motivator, and it may help people feel more present in their environment – even when working on the most menial of tasks.
While the debate over whether music in the workplace has long been hotly contested, certain infographics from 2017 seem to paint a more positive picture of the situation. Boosting morale and raising productivity, there’re good indicators that boredom is suitably staved off at work once some terrific tunes are played. However, it’s recommended to treat the situation as something of a balancing act. After all, playing profanity-filled hardcore death metal in an office full of older workers will likely exchange boredom for ire.
You could play gentle ambient sounds at a low volume through a set of speakers, creating a more immersive environment where more than the tapping of keys and hushed phone calls are heard. A radio broadcasting a mainstream station may instil more energy in the work environment too. Additionally, introducing a policy that enables workers to listen to their own music on occasion could be enough to counter any bouts of boredom, so long as workers have headphones in.
Be Open to Occasional Fun
There’s no hard and fast rule that says business workplaces must be dour pits of misery. Despite this, many of these environments often can be.
Of course, there is a temptation to keep things more on the formal side when it comes to maintaining workplace processes and productivity. Professional conduct might also matter more if any clients, business partners, or job interviewees visit the premises also. However, if you look hard enough, you should be able to see gaps in your swirling schedule for occasional spots of levity.
Some light workplace banter could be a good thing. Not only will you raise spirits and keep the boredom at bay, but you may also nurture healthy interpersonal relationships with all your staff. Better yet, they may also work to maintain a growing affinity with each other too. A positive, social culture should mean that employees will arrive at work feeling upbeat and ready to go.