Employees spend over 5 hours a week bored at work

July 24, 2017

On average, managers recognise that their employees are spending nearly 14% of their week bored at work.

For an average full-time employee working an 7.5-hour day, this is equivalent to 5.3 hours a week.

The research by Robert Half was based on interviews with more than 400 hiring managers from companies across the UK.

Employees in London and the South East are the most bored, with managers estimating that staff spend over six hours a week uninterested in their jobs.

This is closely followed by the South West and Wales who are estimated to spend six hours a week bored at work.

Employees in Scotland are seen as less likely to be bored, with managers claiming their workforce spends just shy of four uninterested hours at work.


RegionAmount of hours spent bored at work each weekPercentage of time that employees spend bored at work
London and South East6.417%
South West and Wales616%


Twiddling thumbs

For large companies with more than 500 employees, the amount of time that employees spend bored at work jumps to just over seven hours. This is the equivalent of nearly a full working day.

In comparison, employees in medium-sized organisations are estimated to spend almost half that time (nearly four hours a week) uninterested in their work.

Managers highlighted the reasons that employees are most likely to be bored during the course of the week.

Over a third confessed that:

  • work was not interesting enough (35%)
  • staff don’t feel challenged (32%)
  • there is a lack of diversity on offer within the role (30%)

Inefficient internal processes could also be to blame, with one in three saying there are too many meetings that are poorly executed.

“With the current skills shortage, managers need to focus efforts on keeping the role interesting to boost employee engagement and ultimately support higher retention,” said Phil Sheridan, Senior Managing Director at Robert Half UK.

“To ensure employees perform to the best of their ability and remain interested in their jobs, employers need to introduce greater variety by giving workers the opportunity to develop new skills or take on additional responsibilities. It’s important to remember that employees who are more interested in their jobs are likely to make a greater contribution to the organisation and contribute to long-term success.”

Source: Robert Half UK

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