Sick of being bored?
A burn-out is a term you’ve probably heard a lot about already. It’s getting more and more attention over the last few years, which makes it a lot easier for people to detect it. However a term we bet you’ve never heard of before, is a bore-out. A bore-out is basically a psychological disorder caused by boredom (a lot of it). This disorder causes physical illness. Even though a bore-out is as serious as a burn-out and they are much alike, it isn’t always taken as seriously as it should be taken. The reason for this is probably the exact same thing as you thought of as well; how can you get ill by being bored? And what exactly is the difference with a burn-out? All these questions will be answered in the rest of this article.
Let’s first take a look at what exactly bore-outs and burn-outs are and how they differ from each other. Symptoms of a burn-out are exhaustion, lack of motivation and frustration and are mostly caused by chronic stress. When unchecked, it will have an impact on your happiness, relationships and job performance. Now we’ll take a look at the bore-out. In the first paragraph, we already explained a little bit about a bore-out, but there is more to it. The first signs of a bore-out are demotivation, anxiety and sadness. In the long term, a burn-out will develop, which will generate a strong feeling of self- deprecation, which can then turn into a depression. This all starts with having nothing to do at your job or in general. It could be that you’re not getting enough responsibilities at work, or just having barely any work to do all day, every day. It could also be that you’re not challenged enough or have a lack of confidence.
The first signs of a bore-out are demotivation, anxiety and sadness
When we break this down, a bore out is another way to a burn-out, but with an opposite cause (boredom instead of chronic stress). Even though the two lead to the same outcome; a burn-out, a bore-out isn’t taken very seriously. Not many people come to their bosses and say that they have a burn out because they’re ‘simply’ bored. They don’t dare to because they’re afraid they will not be taken seriously. Boredom is a no go, we always need to be busy because everyone seems to be, hence the shame of being ill due to being bored.
Boredom is a no go, we always need to be busy because everyone seems to be, hence the shame of being ill due to being bored
People might not take a burn-out or a bore-out seriously, but the economy surely does. Being less motivated leads to employees, or even employers, being less productive. We all know that if you do less in the same amount of time, it costs the company money. Not only does a burn-out or a bore-out lead to less productivity, but in the end, it will most likely lead to this particular employee to be replaced as well. In the healthcare system, a burn-out is not uncommon due to all the stress which accompanies these type of jobs. The American Medical Association has tried to put together a Physician Burnout calculator, to try and put a cost on the burnout of employees. As an example “an American healthcare system with 500 physicians, at the average national rate of 54% burnout rate can expect to spend $12 million every year just to replace physicians who leave the organization due to burnout.” This is a huge amount of money and shows that prevention is better, and probably cheaper than cure.
Not only does a burn-out or a bore-out lead to less productivity, but in the end, it will most likely lead to this particular employee to be replaced as well
There is still a lot of controversy surrounding the burn-out, and especially the bore-out, but it is safe to say that companies should take these type of phenomena into account. A fall in productivity is never good for profit, and a depression or boredom is not something you would wish for your employees, or even yourself.Annemarie Koomen & Sterre van Woerden 06-06-2018
Rosenfield, J. (2018). Calculating the financial costs of physician burnout. Medical Economics. Retrieved on June 2, 2018, from
Wagner, R. (2016). Identifying and Reducing Burnout among Healthcare Professionals. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 2, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/lib/identifying-and-reducing-burnout-among-healthcare-professionals/
Picture. Tech Republic. (2016) iStockphoto/cyano66 https://www.techrepublic.com/article/millennials-are-twice-as-bored-at-work-as-baby-boomers-report-says/