Professor seeks corporate volunteer for boredom study
Professor John Sharp, who Heads the Centre for Research and Innovation in Childhood, Education and Society at Leeds Beckett, wishes to find out what drives boredom in an office environment.
Professor Sharp commented: “Everybody gets bored from time to time, and in every aspect of our busy lives. But some of us get bored more easily and more often than others with consequences in terms of how we behave and how we operate.”
He said that the study would take up only a small amount of the company’s time - about as long as it takes to fill out a few questionnaires - and that for ethical reasons, participants would be kept anonymous in his study. In addition he explained that the company who put themselves forward would benefit from his research as understanding boredom at work could lead to significant gains in productivity, the general wellbeing of the workforce and staff retention.
Professor Sharp has recently led a study which found that boredom at university is linked to a lower ‘average’ final degree mark. ‘Academic boredom, approaches to learning and the final-year degree outcomes of undergraduate students’, is set to be published in the Journal of Further and Higher Education, and considers the views and experiences of 224 final-year Education Studies undergraduates from a single UK institution.
He added: “Companies serious about the development of their staff and who wish to get the best out of their teams should also be serious about their emotional engagement at work. This includes knowing when, where and how employees begin to drift off and what they do as a result. Armed with these insights, companies are better positioned to take steps to target what resources they have to ensure that boredom and its effects are minimised.”