Udemy Study Discovers That Lack of Learning Opportunities Leaves Half of U.S. Workers Bored or Disengaged on the Job

Udemy, a global marketplace for learning and teaching online, today released the results of the 2016 Udemy Workplace Boredom Study, which reveals that nearly half (43%) of U.S. full-time employees are bored or disengaged at work and the majority (51%) feel this way at least half of the time. As a result, over half (61%) of those employees are likely to change jobs in the next three to six months to pursue opportunities that are more rewarding.

The survey of 1,000 U.S. full-time employees found that boredom isn’t simply a matter of having nothing to do but rather a lack of new learning opportunities and professional growth. Respondents cited limited opportunities to learn new skills (46%), as well as unchallenging work that doesn’t use their education or background (44%), as top reasons they were bored in their current roles and looking for a change.

“Companies spend a lot of time and money on retention programs, but they’re missing a key reason why employees pursue new opportunities: they’re bored at work. The majority of those bored employees indicate that the opportunity to learn new skills at their jobs would increase their interest and engagement. Companies should take these numbers very seriously, as they end up eating into their bottom line,” says Darren Shimkus, vice president and general manager for Udemy for Business, a curated learning platform that helps enterprises up-skill their workforce and foster a culture of learning. The platform has 2000+ high-quality courses taught by the world’s leading experts that cover a wide range of topics from programming and design to leadership and stress management.

While nearly half of U.S. employees feel bored at work, the majority (80%) of those surveyed indicate that opportunities to learn new skills would increase their interest and engagement. Specifically, the survey found two-thirds (61%) of respondents who sought professional development on their own feel it keeps them engaged with their work. In addition, more than half (56%) felt they are learning skills that help them better perform their jobs.

Additional report highlights:

  • 39% of employees surveyed report they’ve called in sick to work as a result of being bored or disengaged on the job.
  • 51% of employees say they often hear colleagues express feelings of boredom or disengagement.
  • 44% of respondents cite a lack of learning opportunities as a reason they left their last job.
  • 53% of respondents wish their employer paid for professional development and/or skills training.
  • 50% of people would rather get a root canal than feel constantly bored at work.

The survey was conducted online by Toluna Group on behalf of Udemy in September 2016 among 1,000 U.S. office-workers in full-time jobs who are ages 18 or older. Complete survey methodology available upon request.

About Udemy
Udemy was founded in 2010 with the aim of helping anyone build the life they imagine through online learning. Udemy is a global marketplace for learning and teaching online where more than 13 million students learn from an extensive library of 40,000 courses taught by expert instructors in 80 different languages. Whether learning for professional development or personal enrichment, students can master new skills through self-paced, on-demand courses, while instructors can share their knowledge with the world. For companies, Udemy for Business offers subscription access to a curated collection of business-relevant courses as well as a central, simple platform to host and distribute proprietary content. Udemy is privately owned and headquartered in San Francisco with offices in Ireland and Turkey. For additional information, please visit www.udemy.com.