If you don't have enough to do at work

I never see people in the office who don’t know what to do. Never. Everyone is working obediently. It must happen every now and then. Are any colleagues reading this :-)?

In my coaching practice I do see this. Most likely you will feel quite threatened, if you’re bored, because if other people find out, they might think you’re not needed, so you try to hide it carefully. That’s not so easy, the whole long day. And then another one and another one.

Work should be a place where you can show what you’re capable of, and where you can contribute to the world. It’s terrible if you need to count the hours in a day, and if you need to be dishonest about it as well.

The question is of course: wouldn’t it be better if you were honest about it? Can’t you come up with something to do? Here are five tips on how to deal with boredom at work.

1. Talk to your boss

If you don’t have enough work, it might be a good idea to talk to your boss. But think about it first. If you have nothing to do, to some bosses it might come across as if you don’t take enough initiative. If you have a good boss who you trust, you could ask her for more work - there’s a good chance that she’s happy that someone has time to so something more. It is even more important to discuss your role with her. Apparently it’s not so clear what your role is, or your role is not big enough. Try to find structural solutions.

2. Talk to your colleagues

If talking to your boss is not such a great idea, maybe there are colleagues who can help you. There’s a good chance they’ll be over the moon if you can take over some of their work, but here some caution is in order though: colleagues could also feel threatened by you wanting to do their jobs.

3. Start looking for jobs

Be alert, when you talk to colleagues, in meetings, in email conversations. Usually there are a lot of things that remain to be done, things that should be improved or worked on. If you run into them, raise your hand! Offer your help. Come up yourself with things that you would like to do. Start a group that makes things more sustainable. Reorganise cupboards. Restructure a database.

4. Craft your job

Job-crafting is very much a buzzword. Your job tends to change over time around who you are. Gradually you do more and more of the things you like and are good at and do less of the things that don’t suit you. When you have little work, you could speed up this process a bit.

Jobcrafting is much more than looking for new things to do. You're going to redesign your job and you need a plan for that. Make a list of what you like and what you're good at and think of what you want your job to look like. If you have this plan, it will be much easier to craft your job.

Need more?

I can be really hard, not having enough to do at work. Tips in a blog can be a good start, but if you really want to change something, you might consider coaching. Did you recognise yourself in this blog? I coach people with difficult bosses and other work problems. Why not have a look a www.fromsurvivingtothriving.nl or www.fromsurvivingtothriving.co.uk and get in touch for a free taster session?

Do you want to read more blogs? fromsurvivingtothriving.nl/blog

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