Boring Job May Lead To Burn-out

Psychiatrists concluded that putting in more than an eight-hour-day five days a week makes you six times more likely to suffer ‘burnout syndrome’.

Working more than 40 hours per week increases 'burnout' risk, psychiatrists concluded. Photo: Adam Bindslev/Flickr

Having a boring job can leave you just as vulnerable to ‘burn-out’ than one which leaves you rushed off your feet,psychiatrists affirm. They believe there is a distinct category of  “underchallenged” employees who end up finding they just cannot take any more of the “monotonous” tasks that they are expected to perform.

Jesús Montero-Marín, from the University of Zaragoza in Spain, wrote in the journal BMC Psychiatry that such “unchallenged” employees “have to cope with the disenchantment caused by feeling trapped in an occupational activity to which they are indifferent, which bores them and produces no gratification.”

Then he went on:”These employees present a cynical attitude and are invaded by guilty feelings due to the ambivalence they feel for their work and by their desire for change.”

It was revealed that people who work in administrative and service roles were most likely to be bored in their jobs, while men were more likely to suffer this type of burn-out than women. There is a supposition that it is owing to the fact that the role of males has always been linked to social expectations of professional development.

Also a worker with more than 16 years’ service in the same place of work is five times more at risk of developing this form of the syndrome than another worker with a service record of less than four years.

The research was based on a questionnaire of about 400 employees at the University of Zaragoza, including administrative, services, teaching and research staff and interns. It was singled out two types of burn-out: ‘frenetic’, in which the employee works “increasingly harder to the point of exhaustion “; and ‘worn-out’, where workers “give up when faced with stress or lack of gratification”.

It is obvious, that those who worked longer hours were more likely to suffer ‘frenetic’ burn-out. Employees who worked more than 40 hours a week were almost six times more likely to suffer this type of burn-out than those who worked less than 35 hours.  These people felt “guilty when faced with the prospect of not achieving set goals, given the ambition and great need for achievement that characterise subjects with this profile”.

However, Jesús Montero-Marín said that having a family could help protect workers against this type of burn-out. He wrote: “Having a family, partner or children can act as a protective ‘cushion’, because when people finish their day at work they leave their workplace worries behind them and focus on other kinds of tasks.”

The study has been published in the journal BMC Psychiatry. [via The Telegraph and The Economic Times]

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