A new workplace phenomenon called ‘boreout,’ characterized by a profound lack of stimulation at work, is quietly gaining recognition, with members of Gen Z taking to TikTok to voice their experiences of workplace ennui.
As this issue gains traction, it raises questions about the expectations of younger workers and the potentially detrimental effects of monotony on employee wellbeing.
The Rise of ‘Boreout’
While ‘burnout’ has long been recognized as a prevalent workplace issue, its lesser-known counterpart, ‘boreout,’ is now coming to the forefront. ‘Boreout’ is defined by a lack of meaningful tasks, challenging responsibilities, or mental engagement at work. Employees experiencing ‘boreout’ often find themselves disinterested, unchallenged, and, paradoxically, bored at work.
Members of Generation Z, who are entering the workforce with high expectations and a desire for meaningful work, have started to share their ‘boreout’ experiences on TikTok. These short-form videos are resonating with young workers who are finding that their work lives may not align with their initial career aspirations.
The Impact on Employee Wellbeing
‘Boreout’ may not manifest as dramatically as ‘burnout,’ but it can be just as harmful to employee wellbeing. Prolonged periods of workplace boredom can lead to disengagement, decreased productivity, and, in some cases, mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.
Members of Gen Z are known for their desire to make a positive impact on the world through their careers. However, the realities of entry-level positions, which can sometimes involve mundane tasks and limited autonomy, may not align with their aspirations. This gap between expectation and reality can lead to disillusionment and ‘boreout.’
Employers are beginning to take note of the ‘boreout’ phenomenon and its potential impact on their workforce. Some companies are reevaluating their approach to employee engagement, offering more opportunities for skill development, mentorship, and autonomy to keep young workers engaged and motivated.
TikTok’s ability to connect and amplify voices has allowed young workers to share their experiences of ‘boreout’ and, in doing so, bring this issue to a wider audience. These videos have sparked discussions about workplace expectations, mental health, and the evolving dynamics of the modern workforce.
Addressing ‘boreout’ requires a holistic approach that involves both employees and employers. Companies can consider implementing job rotation, skills training, and mentorship programs to provide more fulfilling work experiences. Employees, on the other hand, may benefit from seeking opportunities to learn new skills or express their concerns to supervisors.
Open and transparent communication between employers and employees is crucial in addressing ‘boreout.’ Encouraging dialogue about job satisfaction and career goals can help align expectations and create a more engaging work environment.
As the workforce evolves and younger generations enter, the concept of meaningful work is gaining prominence. Employers are increasingly recognizing the value of creating workplaces that foster engagement, growth, and a sense of purpose.
‘Boreout’ is emerging as a significant workplace challenge, particularly among members of Gen Z who aspire to make a difference through their careers. TikTok has provided a platform for these young workers to share their experiences and shed light on the importance of meaningful work and engagement.
Addressing ‘boreout’ requires a concerted effort from both employers and employees to create work environments that prioritize employee wellbeing, personal growth, and job satisfaction.
As the workforce continues to evolve, the lessons learned from the ‘boreout’ phenomenon will likely shape the future of work, emphasizing the need for fulfilling and engaging careers for all generations.