October is mental health awareness month and statistics show that up to a third of South Africans suffer from some form of anxiety and depression.

Recent research by The Stress Management Society has found that 95% of workers cited the office environment as being critical to their well-being and mental health.

Interesting to note is that boredom in the workplace has a multitude of negative physiological and psychological health impacts – from raised cortisol levels (your body’s main stress hormone) to depression and sleep problems.

From a business perspective, boredom can lead to frustration and loss of productivity. In addition, bored employees are twice as likely to leave their job, according to a study by Udemy1.

In a recent poll commissioned by Mindspace2, 31% of millennial employees said that they find their current workplace boring and uninspiring. 21% of millennials say they have rejected job offers because of uninspiring workplaces.

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Boredom at work is often related to doing the same thing over and over again

In fact, in a 2017 survey of 1,200 professionals, the main reason people said they were bored was because they do and see the same thing every day.

Here are five tips and suggestions to help conquer boredom in the office work space and ensure a healthier state of mind:

Force yourself to be curious

Boredom is often a loss of curiosity. If you catch yourself bored with a project, stop to read for a bit or watch an interesting clip on YouTube, even in the middle of the day. Search for something far away from work, yet linked to the same battery crucial to that work.

Listen to music

Listen to music for 10 to 15 minutes before you tackle your to-do list. When you listen to music, your brain releases dopamine and possibly serotonin. Both of these neurotransmitters elevate your mood.

Take time out… to play

Feeling bored, frustrated, or stuck at work is no fun. So try doing something deliberately amusing. How about a game of putt-putt in the office?

Employees can navigate treacherous obstacles like the photocopy machine, the reception area and the recycling centre. Each hole needs a plastic cup with a company value, theme or story topic on it. Once an employee hits the ball into the hole they have to pause and tell others nearby a short story about what the value/theme/story means to them.

Take a hike

If you’ve hit a roadblock on a project, grab your laptop and move to another room or space. Sometimes a simple change in scenery can reignite those brain cells.

Change your physical environment

Perhaps, you need a change of scenery. Our environment can change our mood. Try using fresh new colours, as they can evoke feelings of happiness.

For more ideas and smart, affordable, design solutions for the work space visit www.angelshack.co.za and follow them on Instagram @angelschack_sa, Facebook and LinkedIn @angelshack.