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Great post! I know I would rather be busy and stressed at my job than sitting there bored. Being bored makes me feel like I don't belong...if I'm not adding value it grates on my self esteem. Yuck!

Also, bored employees are typically the troublemakers (violence in workplace, harrassment, etc.)

It's also consistent with students who are bored in school, which then tends to get in trouble.

This is why, all the more, the case for engaging employees is key to a great organization.

I see this as a supervision or performance management issue more than anything. That boss who should be right there can assign work, shift work between team members, discuss the importance of the work and do all manner of things to get those will pitch in at all to do so.

Ray, I have to tell you that my experience doesn't lay workplace violence at the foot of those who are bored. Do you have any data to support your statement?

Thanks, all, for the comments and thoughts.

My personal experience parallels HR Wench's - I would also prefer stress and overload (to a point) over boredome. Ray, my experience would suggest that bored employees cause trouble in more subtle, but insidious ways - versus outright workplace violence, but I would also welcome any data you have seen that suggests that connection. Wally, I also lean toward performance management as the biggest culprit here - it is hard to imagine bored, underutilized employees in an environment with disciplined and effective performance management practices.

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About The Author

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    Compensation consultant Ann Bares is the Managing Partner of Altura Consulting Group. Ann has more than 20 years of experience consulting with organizations in the areas of compensation and performance management.

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