Bipolaridad organizacional entre el Burn-out y el Bore-out

El síndrome de agotamiento por exceso de trabajo, burn-out, es por demás conocido. Como el ying y el yang, ha aparecido su opuesto complementario: el bore-out, el desgaste laboral relacionado con el aburrimiento. De qué se trata este malestar, aún poco estudiado Culturalmente hemos sido marcados, por lo menos las […]

El síndrome de agotamiento por exceso de trabajo, burn-out, es por demás conocido. Como el ying y el yang, ha aparecido su opuesto complementario: el bore-out, el desgaste laboral relacionado con el aburrimiento. De qué se trata este malestar, aún poco estudiado

Culturalmente hemos sido marcados, por lo menos las generaciones mayores de 30 años, en las virtudes del trabajo, que por sí mismo forja dignidad y el sentido de una vida. Por el contrario, como el famoso cuento de La cigarra y las hormigas, hemos sido aprendidos ha aborrecer a los ociosos, que no pueden esforzarse y ganarse su vida, viviendo del sudor ajeno.

Ahora imagínese que súbitamente no puede evitar sentir aburrimiento en el trabajo. Un día tras otro se dice que fue algo pasajero, pero vuelve a aparecer. La persona que lo sufre comienza a sentir culpa, vergüenza y pérdida de la autoestima, además del obvio deterioro de las relaciones con sus pares y superiores, que en última instancia, terminan despidiéndolo.

Lo que parece una ficción aterradora  escrita por Kafka, es en verdad una “epidemia” silenciosa. Algunos especialistas afirman que un 30% de los empleados dice aburrirse en el trabajo. De ellos, un tercio podría sufrir este síndrome.

Ying y yang del Burn

Burn-out y bore-out coinciden en el mundo laboral y aunque parezcan opuestos, tienen en común el sufrimiento y el deterioro de la salud y los vínculos.

Los síntomas son parecidos a los de la depresión: cansancio, alteraciones del sueño, trastornos de la alimentación y la sexualidad.

Se puede ir y volver del burn-out al bore-out, ya que los adictos al trabajo pierden, en su aceleración, el sentido de lo que hacen, llegando muchas veces al desgano y la desmotivación, finalmente el bore-out.

Sin embargo, lo específico de esta nueva enfermedad es el sentimiento de culpa, ya que parece absurdo quejarse de no tener nada interesante que hacer. Finalmente, se trata de gente “privilegiada”, que tiene trabajo, a veces difícil de conseguir, y a la que se le paga por no hacer nada importante. A veces se trata de empleados “cajoneados”, forma larvada de hostigamiento, donde no se les atribuye ni encomienda ninguna tarea, de modo que se sienten discriminados y desvalorizados. Jamás una persona llamada comúnmente “vaga” podría tener este síndrome.

Trabajo “subsuelo”

El antropólogo americano David Graber sostiene que este malestar se origina en los “trabajos chatarra”, esos trabajos en grandes organizaciones burocráticas, estatales o multinacionales, sin planes de incentivo ni comunicación interna, donde el empleado no se percibe agregando ningún valor genuino, ni conectado con la realidad y los circuitos de responsabilidad y decisión.

En cambio nuestra cultura está mucho más preparada para entender el burn-out, que incluso está sobrevalorado laboral y socialmente. ¿Cómo no admirar al que se sacrifica por progresar y hacer crecer a la empresa? ¿Y cómo negarle el derecho a recibir ayuda y tratamiento?

Si bien la sociedad genera la ilusión de que el acceso a niveles altos de formación va a conllevar  actividades interesantes, creativas y transformadoras, con frecuencia se contratan personas sobrecalificadas y se las condena a tareas mecánicas y rutinarias.

Detección y Cura

Pero el síndrome de aburrimiento y desaliento se hace difícil de justificar, más aún en épocas de crisis. Los consejos y soluciones simplistas (cambiar de trabajo, recuperar la libertad) en vez de ayudar, generan aún más desasosiego.

Para peor, se suele creer que este estado es producto de una depresión. Sin embargo, aquí operan causas que tienen que ver con la dinámica de la organización, y sobre las que se puede y se debe trabajar. Lo que está en juego no es sólo la salud de la gente, sino la calidad de su trabajo, ya que las personas pierden la capacidad de reacción, se paralizan y no están vitales y disponibles cuando realmente se las necesita.

Por eso, para encontrar sentido a sus tareas, uno debería poder preguntarle a su jefe: ¿Para qué sirve mi trabajo, y cómo se hace mejor? Pero eso se parecería a decir que uno es un inútil. Imposible admitirlo ante los superiores, tanto como admitirlo ante uno mismo.

Corresponde a los líderes tomar nota de esta escalada de síntomas y estar disponibles para explorar junto con su gente esos estados de desmotivación crónica, que no se resuelven sobre-estimulándolos con consignas entusiastas, ni generando experiencias motivacionales artificiales.

* Sonia Abadi es médica, psicoanalista e investigadora en innovación y redes humanas.

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Bipolaridad organizacional entre el Burn-out y el Bore-out

tiempo de lectura: 3 min