Boredom Could be a Driver for Creativity and Performance

Two Factor Theory (Human Motivation)
Knowledge Center


Best Practices
Chloe Xu
Director, Australia

Boredom Could be a Driver for Creativity and Performance

Negative emotions, such as anger, anxiety, depression, and boredom are believed to generate behavioural issues and declined performance at work. However, research by Park, Lim and Oh (2019) surprisingly shows that compared to the other negative emotions, BOREDOM might not be that bad after all...

Boredom is the unpleasant and dissatisfied feeling when a person lacks stimulation and has trouble concentrating on the job on hand. Feeling bored pushes people to change the current situation and may trigger curiosity and facilitate learning in individuals.

Research on Boredom. Findings

  • Boredom helps boost individual productivity on an idea-generation task in terms of the number and uniqueness of ideas.
  • A higher level of boredom conditions increases only boredom, but no other negative emotions that are mixed with boredom, such as anger or frustration.
  • Boredom influences individual creativity differently. People with a higher level of openness to experience, need for cognition (NOC), goal orientation (LGO), and internal locus of control (LOC) benefit more from being bored than others.

Implications for Managers

  • Boredom as latent energy could be managed for the benefit of individuals and organisations.
  • Managers need to be mindful about inducing boredom in the work environment to improve creativity and performance. For example, companies who have spaces for employees to nap or spend time to get recharged might think of replacing entertainment equipment with things such as bowls of coloured beans.
  • Managers also need to be more aware of the unique traits of individuals, such as openness to experience, NOC, LGO, and internal LOC. By doing that, they can achieve their desired employee performance outcome by arranging some "boredom periods" during the day.
Source: Park, G., Lim, B. and Oh, H., 2019. Why Being Bored Might Not Be a Bad Thing After All. Academy of Management Discoveries, 5(1), pp.78-92.


Jaap de Jonge
Editor, Netherlands

Boredom and Creativity

Interesting, so boredom could also stimulate people to become more creative! If you're interested i... Sign up


Walking and Creativity

In my experience, walking is also very conducive to creativity. Perhaps because long walks are somew... Sign up

John Henry
Project Manager, United States

I Think This is a Personal Reflection, not a Business One

Boredom is a reflection of your interest and commitment to your task at hand. If you are idle, and s... Sign up

Maurice Hogarth
Consultant, United Kingdom

Create Boredom to Manage for Motivation

So: "Feeling bored pushes people to change the current situation and may trigger curiosity and facil... Sign up


More on Two Factor Theory (Human Motivation):
Discussion Topics
🥇 How to measure motivation?
🔥 5 Motivational Techniques When Employees are Feeling Low
🥈 Privacy at Work | Privacy in Offices
How to Create a Psychologically Safe Workplace?
🥉 PROs and CONs of Employee Of the Month Programs
Motivation Engenders Commitment
Civility and Respect towards Employees
Nothing Flourishes Without Attention
Achieving a State of Flow and Motivation
What motivates Employees to be more Innovative?
Role of Job Titles in Employee Motivation and Satisfaction
Using Herzberg's Two Factor Theory in Small Companies
Is Money the Primary Motivating Factor?
List of Intrinsic Motivators
Strong Motivational Factors can Overcome Demotivating Factors
What are (the Main) Causes of Attrition?
Avoid Under and over Motivation
Social and Environment Issues are Missing in 2 Factor Theory
👀Boredom Could be a Driver for Creativity and Performance
Office Design: From Action Office to Cubicles to the Home Office
Application of Two Factor Theory in Non-Governmental Organizations
Hygiene and Motivation: Hand and Glove
Is Lack of Challenge a Hygiene Factor?
Scope of Herzberg's Two Factor Theory Goes Beyond Work
The 2 Most Important Words to Say to your Employees
Two Factor Theory Still Holds Today?
Role of Knowledge in Two Factor Theory
Additional Hygiene Factors
Is an Employee Information System a Motivation / Hygiene Factor?
How to Keep a Workforce Motivated at Crossroads
Special Interest Group

Do you know a lot about Two Factor Theory (Human Motivation)? Become our SIG Leader

Two Factor Theory (Human Motivation)
Knowledge Center

About 12manage | Advertising | Link to us / Cite us | Privacy | Suggestions | Terms of Service
2023 12manage - The Executive Fast Track. V16.1 - Last updated: 28-5-2023. All names of their owners.