How Often Are You Bored at Work?

Published October 19, 2017 at 4:16 pm

Anthony Urciuoli/ photo

If you’ve ever had a case of the blahs at work, you’re not alone … Canadian professionals admit they’re bored in the office an average of eight hours per week, according to a new survey from staffing firm OfficeTeam.

“Quiet periods at work present opportunities for employees to expand their skills and grow professionally,” said a district president for OfficeTeam Koula Vasilopoulos.

“During downtimes or in between projects, individuals can speak to their boss about ways to contribute to other teams, take on new responsibilities or explore innovative business ideas.”

That’s a full day a week, or the equivalent of 52 days a year.

Senior managers interviewed acknowledged the doldrums do exist but estimated their staff is likely disinterested about seven hours each week.

And this is nothing to snooze at: Nearly two in five employees (39 per cent) said it’s likely they’d quit their job if they felt bored at work.

“Managers should keep an eye on assignment timelines and individual goals to ensure they’re offering experiences that are challenging and engaging,” said Vasilopoulos.

Employees were also asked what they do when they’re bored in the office.

In addition to browsing the Internet (we see you, readers!), checking personal e-mail and social media, and chatting with coworkers, here are some of their more creative activities:

“Take online quizzes.”

“Check my investments.”

“Read manuals.”


“Stare at the ceiling.”



“Pay bills.”

“Watch TV or movies.”

“Play online games.”



“Clean my desk.”

“Ask for more work.”

“Look for other jobs.”

Here are some additional findings:

Of all respondent groups, male workers and those ages 18 to 34 are bored the most per week (9 hours and 10 hours, respectively).

Men (44 per cent) and employees ages 18 to 34 (46 per cent) are also most likely to leave their current position if bored.

Nearly one-quarter of senior managers (23 per cent) think the main reason boredom strikes is because employees don’t find their work interesting.

While 45 per cent of professionals are equally bored throughout the year, another 31 per cent said work is most tedious during the winter.

In general, one in five senior managers (20 per cent) believe staff have too much work to do in their jobs.

The surveys of workers and senior managers were developed by OfficeTeam.

They were conducted by independent research firms and include responses from more than 430 Canadian workers 18-years–old and older and more than 300 senior managers at Canadian companies with 20 or more employees.

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