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Bored office workers turn to coffee and booze

One in four office workers complain of "chronic boredom," fueling themselves with coffee and chocolate during the day and hitting the happy hours after work to brighten their day -- habits which can take a toll on their health in the long term.

In a new survey announced by British researchers, office dwellers may even turn to vandalizing office equipment or pocketing Post-Its, just as a source of stimulation during a drab office day.

"Reducing the sources of boredom could involve enrichment programmes such as job rotation, multi-skilling and empowerment," said head researcher Sandi Mann of the University of Central Lancashire in the UK. "Encouraging healthier ways of coping could include education or providing healthy snacks and drinks in canteens."

Twenty-five percent of office workers surveyed revealed they were bored most of the time, with four out of five suggesting boredom caused them to lose concentration, and half believed it led to mistakes while on the job. Around half said being bored at work might lead them to scan the job listings.

The research, which surveyed more than 100 office workers, was presented to the British Psychological Society's annual occupational psychology Chester, England, on Thursday.

Another recent study from the University of Surrey in the UK on boredom at work found that flirty male colleagues may be more bored than actually interested.

If you're bored at work, Psychology Today suggests a few helpful strategies that could alter your situation, such as scoping out any opportunities for more stimulation within your organization. Talk with your boss, or develop your own strategy. Alternatively, seek opportunities outside of work, such as a course, seminars or volunteer opportunities to network and develop new skills.

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