Psychology. Are you bored at work? You may be suffering from a bore out!

Bore out is one of the psychosocial risks associated with work. The expression comes from the English verb “to bore”, which means to be bored. “To be bored is to be exhausted due to lack of work, motivation or professional challenges”, describes Dr. François Baumann, general practitioner, in his book entitled Bore out: When boredom at work makes you sick.

It thus opposes burnout, which can be characterized by an overload of work or professional investment. But in the forms it takes, the boron out might not be so far away. Dr. Baumann also speaks of “boredom burnout syndrome”. And to develop: “It is a psychological disorder caused by the lack of work and boredom”. And therefore “by the absence of satisfaction in the professional context. »


As described by the National Institute for Research and Safety at Work (INRS), the suffering resulting from the bore out seems particularly “subtle to decode”, because most often “poorly assumed by the employee”. All the more so in a period of economic crisis where employment is seen as a rare asset.

As for the origin, it very often appears to be multifactorial. Three main elements have been identified: one, the organization of the structure in connection, for example, with the distribution of the workload. Two, the know-how associated with the motivations of the worker. Isn’t he over-qualified or over-trained in relation to the position? And three, in connection with the previous one: his individual history, in particular through his professional trajectory, his self-esteem and/or a significant need for recognition.

The most emblematic example corresponds, of course, to “putting in the closet”, the result of an organizational change or an assignment to a post emptied of its content… “These situations must in no case exist or persist in the company”, sums up the INRS.

Health effects

And for good reason: if studies show low job satisfaction, a decrease in commitment and performance, the authors also insist on the health consequences. Cardiovascular in particular, in association with chronic stress.

Not to mention that the victim somehow wastes his moral and cognitive resources doing nothing. Hence the resulting fatigue most often because the “context of boredom and social uselessness exhausts the employee by deteriorating his physical and mental health”, continues the INRS. Until “being shaken in his bearings and in his life in general. »

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