Work Is Not Always Fun! Here’s What To Do When Bored At Work

by Job & Career 28 August 2023

what to do when bored at work
"Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work." - Aristotle.

While this is true to its core, most of us will agree that work gets overwhelming at times, which reduces pleasure and increases boredom.

Even looking at the screen becomes painful, and all you want is to run away. Luckily, you are not alone in this. We have all been there and faced it all.

So without any further delay, let us see why it is that people get bored, and what to do when bored at work!

Why Do You Get Bored At Work?

Why Do You Get Bored At Work

Getting bored at work is pretty common these days. With increasing workload and monotony, individuals tend to get bored often.

While the work that you do may vary, the boredom remains the same!

You could be working at retail, standing for hours, or may just be a corporate employee sitting with your laptop the whole day; boredom will seep through your bones no matter what.

It is inevitable.

While the reasons for getting bored at work may vary from one person to the other, the generic reasons stay the same.

Here are some reasons why individuals may get bored at work:

Repetitive Jobs

Repetitive Jobs

One of the biggest reasons why you may get bored at work is because of repeating the same job over and over again.

Writing the same emails or editing the same documents every day creates monotony, which eventually bores the human mind.

“I think the monotony happens when there is a disconnect between the work and how you define a connection to the work, and you feel like it’s just the same thing every day. If you hear someone say, ‘My job is the same every day, there’s no point,’ I think the underlying feeling might be that what they are doing doesn’t matter. And that there is no connection to why they are there.”

  • Mandy Tang, Career Coach.

Wastage Of Time

Time is one of the most valuable assets in a person’s life, regardless of their position or designation. You may be an employer or an employee- your time is just as valuable. So, boredom may hit you at any point where you feel like you are wasting your time and efforts.

As a worker, you may sometimes feel that your time is getting wasted when you are not getting the anticipated results after the efforts that you have put in. This is not just disheartening but also makes employees think that they are wasting their time on something that is not yielding positive outcomes.

Work That Is Not Challenging

Imagine your work being so easy that you don’t even need to do any brainstorming or put in any extra effort. It may sound appalling at the beginning, but in the long run, you will get bored.

Challenges are tough to deal with, but they are also exciting. Challenges keep the work engaging and hence, keep individuals occupied.

Employees often complain that their work is not challenging enough, but at the same time, they feel scared of the increased workload if they choose to complain. So, they just keep quiet.

That, however, is not a solution. This problem requires immediate attention, so it is always best to take it up to the seniors, who can give you better advice on the issue that is bothering you.

Lack Of Engagement

Lack Of Engagement

This is a common problem that people often face at the workplace when the work they do does not feel quite engaging or stimulating.

For instance, I am a writer. I like writing, and my expertise lies in it. Now, if I am given a role where I have to sit and look after the sales of my company, I will definitely not feel engaged with my work.

Lack of engagement may also be caused due to many other reasons. You may feel disengaged with the work when your mind is someplace else. In that case, you need to first make amends with yourself about the problem that you are facing and then take it to the seniors.

Please do not make it official unless you feel it is significant enough to do so. Try to solve as much as you can on your own, and seek help only when you need it.

Disrespect At Work

“I am a 26-year-old guy. I have gotten my first job, and I am feeling very afraid and intimidated. People at work do not seem to respect me and spend time with me. Other people who joined alongside me are doing fine.

I was always an introvert with mild anxiety. However, it has become considerably worse now. I have also become very meek and people-pleasing. Social skills are judged pretty hard at my work, and it seems no one cares about me. I don’t hold it against them, but I am curious to know how to change the tide.

I am posting this because I want to change. Also, I want to be the leader; I want to be the guy people want to hang out with. I am willing to spend some money and time to achieve this.

I am also pretty sure that if I were to have kids, they would not look up to me.” 

– Reddit.

Well, it is quite evident how people seem to feel about getting disrespected at work.

Disrespect doesn’t always have to do with bad behavior. It comes in various forms, and one may feel disrespected in a way others can’t even think of.

A continuation of disrespect at work can lead to tremendous boredom and, finally, resignation.

What To Do When Bored At Work?

What To Do When Bored At Work

Well, now that it is evident that you are not the only one who gets bored at work, let me just take you through all the things to do when bored at work.

These are some of the most organic ways that you may try to use. However, it may not be as effective for you as it is for others.

So without boring you any further, let’s discuss what to do when bored at work.

Take A Power Nap

Take A Power Nap

While it may sound ridiculous, it is actually quite effective. Every office allows you to take small breaks here and there, so utilize it to your benefit. Sleep can actually give you the little boost of rejuvenation that your mind needs.

Also, do not just go and sleep for hours at a stretch; we want to fight the boredom, not get fired. A small nap of 15 minutes or just putting the head down for a while can be of great help.


Just make sure you are not caught watching YouTube while working. You will end up in serious trouble. However, if you can be discreet about it, you are safe.

Working constantly can block your mind, which may potentially be one of the reasons why you get bored at work.

Break the monotony and just browse through YouTube for a while. Watch some clips, stand-up comedy, or anything that can help refresh your mind before you can go back to work.

Take A Walk

Take A Walk

Standing or sitting constantly for hours may result in excessive boredom. Try taking a short walk in the middle of your work.

It does not necessarily have to be long. You can just go to the cafe, or take a walk from outside. This will not only help to relax your muscles but also give momentary relaxation to the mind and the eyes.

Taking a walk helps you get some fresh air, and you can continue to get back at work with a fresh mindset.

Self Motivation

One of the best ways to fight your boredom is to motivate yourself. No amount of motivational videos or TED talks can help you the way self-motivation does.

Personally, my biggest motivation is my love for shopping. I love to shop. The world becomes a better place when I swipe my card, try on clothes, or buy a new purse.

So, my love for all things expensive is what keeps me motivated and dedicated to my work.

Play Games

Every office has a recreation room or a games room for employees to relax when they are bored with their work. You can try out games like UNO, Jenga, Foosball, or any other gaming equipment that is available in your office.

Playing is a great way to relax your mind and keep it completely away from work for a while.

Card games or board games are more efficient in this case, as you will have to put your full concentration on the game, which helps in keeping your mind distracted from the work for a while.

Read A Book

Read A Book

If you are not much into playing games, books always come to the rescue. Reading a good story or poetry can actually help calm your mind.

When I feel extremely bored with my work, I just sit alone with my poetry books. It takes just 5 to 7 minutes to relax your mind and bring your concentration back in place.

Have A Talk With Your Coworkers

Sometimes talking can ease your nerves. We all have someone at the office who is the one-stop for all our problems. Talking to them literally makes us happy and calm.

So, if you feel bored or overwhelmed with your work, you can just sit and talk with them for a while. Tell them how you are feeling and take their advice on it. Also, make sure that neither of you is compromising on the work that is assigned to you. You don’t want a termination letter handed to both of you for incompetency.

So make sure the work is getting done, and only then take breaks together. You may also just go and talk to whoever is available. Talking in itself becomes therapeutic regardless of who it is.

Expert Opinions On Boredom At Work

Expert Opinions On Boredom At Work

Boredom at work apparently is more than you can imagine. While you may feel guilty about feeling bored with the work you are doing, you don’t realize that multiple people in your workplace feel the exact same.

So, there is no reason to feel guilty about something that you cannot control. Rather, it is effective to work on trying to overcome it.

Workplace boredom is serious and something that needs guidance. It must be catered to as long as it is just boredom. If not, it can lead to serious mental illnesses like stress, depression, anxiety, and so on.

“Boredom in and of itself is stressful. We eventually become aroused and keyed up, looking for something to do. If we don’t have an outlet for that, we’ll try to find one because that condition is really uncomfortable.”

  • Nikolas Williams, Senior Neuroscience Researcher, Emotiv.

He further added, “The stress of being bored, that chronic stress is definitely going to cause a myriad of mental and physical health symptoms. If you’re too bored, you’re going to disengage. The more bored you are, the more difficult it’s going to be to actually engage with something because your attention has been divided.”

“If you’re doing work that feels monotonous, that doesn’t feel as though it’s giving you the opportunity to learn and grow, it doesn’t provide the opportunity to learn new skills, which we know is motivating. Those kinds of jobs may lead to exhaustion, not because they’re too big, but because they’re too small.”

  • Colbert, Profesor of Management and Entrepreneurship.

“I think it’s useful to go through an exercise in which you ask yourself, ‘What are you really trying to accomplish in your work? What do you value? Is your work giving you that opportunity to fulfill those needs? Is your organization consistent with those values?”

Colbert further added. “To go through that exercise means that the next job you choose may be one where you don’t just end up in this cycle of dissatisfying jobs. You’ll really be able to improve your fit over time.” 

Wrapping Up

While you may just be wondering what to do when bored at work, there are many underlying issues that you are possibly avoiding. For instance, constant boredom may be a result of undiagnosed depression or anxiety. Or, you may be inherently bored with the work that you do. How to pass the time at work shouldn’t be the only thing on your mind while you work.

In that case, seek professional help. All the points that I mentioned above are temporary and may not be effective in the long run. Try talking to a therapist or someone who is experienced enough to guide you in the right ways.

And if at all you feel that it is the work in itself that is boring you, you may just choose to resign. Not enjoying your work is very common, but it is unfair to hamper the productivity of the organization that you are involved with. So, be the bigger person, and take the necessary steps.

Also, if you have anything to add further, drop a comment below, and I shall be here to talk it out as soon as possible!

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Upasana is a budding journalist who has a keen interest in writing. She considers writing as therapeutic and is most confident when she writes. She is passionate about music, movies and fashion. She writes in a way that connects with the audience in a personal level. She is optimistic, fun loving and opinionated.

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