Workplace boredom coping: health, safety, and HR implications

Game, Annilee M. (2007) Workplace boredom coping: health, safety, and HR implications. Personnel Review, 36 (5). pp. 701-721. ISSN 0048-3486

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Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to investigate how people cope with boredom at work, and whether differences in “boredom coping” effectiveness are associated with differences in employee well‐being, and safety behaviour. Design/methodology/approach: The authors used two methods to gather information for this paper. Employees in a chemical processing organisation (n=212) completed a survey of individual boredom coping levels, self‐reported safety compliance, and a range of well‐being variables. Also, critical incident interviews with a sub‐sample of survey respondents (n=16) elicited strategies that employees use to cope with boredom at work. Findings: High boredom‐copers reported better well‐being and greater compliance with organisational safety rules compared with low boredom‐copers. Relative to low boredom‐copers, high boredom‐copers tended to cope with boredom in ways that were more functional for themselves and the organisation. Research limitations/implications: Because the research was exploratory and cross‐sectional conclusions are necessarily tentative. However, the findings add to the scant body of knowledge about workplace boredom and serve as a useful guide to future research. Practical implications: This approach offers new insights into how the negative effects of boredom might be managed in future, both individually and organisationally. Training in boredom coping skills, in conjunction with job redesign initiatives, may help to reduce the frequency and impact of boredom at work. Originality/value: Boredom at work is an important yet neglected area of human resource management research. The present study is the first to examine the construct of “boredom coping” at work and to demonstrate a potential link between differences in boredom coping tendency and employee health and safety outcomes.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: boredom,health and safety,workplace,job satisfaction,sdg 3 - good health and well-being ,/dk/atira/pure/sustainabledevelopmentgoals/good_health_and_well_being
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > Norwich Business School
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Employment Systems and Institutions
Depositing User: Vishal Gautam
Date Deposited: 01 Sep 2007
Last Modified: 01 Feb 2023 15:30
DOI: 10.1108/00483480710774007

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