2016 Udemy Workplace Boredom Study

Beat workplace boredom before it becomes an epidemic.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that employees appreciate opportunities to learn and grow beyond their current roles. It’s also not surprising that today’s digitally savvy workers want learning and development to be delivered in ways that reflect how they’re now accustomed to consuming other kinds of content—self-paced, interactive, on demand, video-based.

Employees are becoming more vocal about what they want and expect from their employers. They feel less loyalty and switch jobs more frequently. In this climate, when companies don’t give employees the power to shape their own workplace experience, those workers have no qualms about jumping ship. Boredom on the job, often labeled as “disengagement,” is an early warning sign of that restlessness.

The surprising part is how slow many companies have been to respond to this shift. According to Gallup, only one in three employees can be described as “engaged,” costing employers $450 to $550 billion in lost productivity. Perks like free lunch and ping-pong tables might get new hires in the door, but they won’t sustain engagement over the long haul.

To understand this phenomenon better, Udemy recently commissioned a survey of U.S. employees to see how they really feel about their jobs.


In short, workplace boredom is a real problem, it can spread among employees, and it has serious consequences. When bright, promising individuals don’t see a path to reaching their career goals, they’ll quit, which can prompt others to reexamine their workplace and question if they should leave too. Those who stick around feel less motivated to put forth a full effort, and absentee rates will rise. (Half of those who described themselves as “bored” in our survey also said they called out sick at least once as a result.)

From there, it’s a swift descent into widespread morale problems and low productivity.

What can companies do to nip boredom in the bud, before it grows into a bigger problem? Check out our full study on the Udemy for Business site for additional findings around the state of workplace boredom and where employers should invest to drive higher engagement.

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