Have you ever had a job so tedious that you could barely face going into work at all? It sounds like you might have been suffering from ‘bore out’, a syndrome which is the opposite of burn out, but that can have just as serious consequences.
This is everything you need to know about bore out - and how a French worker won a £36,000 payout from his employer.
Being given tedious tasks at work is a ‘form of harassment’
Frederic Desnard worked at the Interparfums designer fragrance firm in Paris until 2014. He was awarded £36,000, after complaining that his job was so boring, he suffered from extreme “bore out”.
Desnard said that losing an important client led to him being given only mind-numbing tasks for the next four years. His lawyers successfully argued that his role in the company had become so boring that it led to a nervous breakdown.
It was claimed that the monotonous work was a “form of harassment”, and, in a landmark ruling, the court leaned in his favour. The Paris Appeal Court upheld the decision, and awarded Desnard €40,000 (around £36,000).
Under French law, it is very difficult for a company to make employees redundant, leading experts to believe that many French employees suffer in similar ways to Desnard.
What is ‘bore out’?
Bore out is essentially the opposite of burn out, where being underworked can lead to depression and mental health problems.
Frankfurt psychotherapist Wolfgang Merkle says symptoms of bore out include depression and insomnia.
In a 2010 interview, Merkle said, “This has to do with the fact that everyone prefers to have disorders that are socially considered. Someone who says ‘I have so much work to do, my God, the job is banging up at work’, is much more respected that someone who says he’s bored, has no responsibilities and that’s what gets him done.
“Everyone says: ‘I want to trade with you, that’s great!’”
A study conducted by researchers at University College London found that people who complain of “high levels of boredom” in their lives are at double the risk of dying from heart disease or stroke.