Wake-Up Call

Survey: Canadian Workers Report Being Bored 8 Hours a Week

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

View an infographic of the research and data tables with breakdowns of the results by gender and age.

Employees were also asked what they do when they’re bored in the office. In addition to browsing the internet, checking personal email and social media, and chatting with coworkers, here are some of their more creative activities:

  • “Take online quizzes”
  • “Check my investments”
  • “Read manuals”
  • “Gossip”
  • “Stare at the ceiling”
  • “Knit”
  • “Doodle”
  • “Pay bills”
  • “Watch TV or movies”
  • “Play online games”
  • “Daydream”
  • “Meditate”
  • “Clean my desk”
  • “Ask for more work”
  • “Look for other jobs”

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

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

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.

About the Research

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 of age or older and more than 300 senior managers at Canadian companies with 20 or more employees.


About OfficeTeam

OfficeTeam, a Robert Half company, is the nation’s leading staffing service specializing in the temporary placement of highly skilled office and administrative support professionals. The company has 300 locations worldwide. For additional information, visit roberthalf.ca/officeteam. Follow @RobertHalf_CAN on Twitter and the OfficeTeam Take Note® blog at roberthalf.com/officeteam/blog for career and management advice.