Definition of monotony

Monotony means dull. Monotonous means dry, unvarying, tedious and uninteresting. The terms monotony and boredom are usually used to indicate the undesirable effects of repetitive work. British researchers use the terms tedium and monotony to describe the state of mind caused by repetitive work. Monotony is the first stage which rapidly develops into boredom when a person finds it hard to stand monotonous repetition of the same operations.


The term boredom is more inclusive and refers to unfavorable attitude and feeling the worker may have for the task he is performing. Monotony and boredom are subjective phenomena in the sense they are caused by the way a person views his task from time, causing the output to fluctuate and to decline progressively.

Three Factors that Product Monotony and Boredom

1. the repetitive nature of the task,

2. intellectual level of the person and

3. the personality characteristic of the individual (mal-adjustment and introversion).


Fatigue means tired. It means work that makes one tired. Fatigue refers to wearingness from labour of body or of mind. Mental Fatigue is a phenomenon which is far more illusive than physical Fatigue. For example, a student reading of several hours feels mentally exhausted and goes to sleep. The largest components of mental Fatigue at any rate seem to be tension and attitude. A student, after a three-hour examination, may feel totally exhausted because of the tension but he may show no such signs after writing lengthy letters to his friends because there is no tension.

Monotony, Boredom, Fatigue and its Relationship with Human Efficiency

The manner in which a job is perceived or experienced (as pleasant or unpleasant) is an individual matter. However, certain kinds of task (for example, repetitive work) and work atmosphere, are more likely to induce monotony and boredom than other. The boredom is related to personality factor, that is two individuals may reveal different reactions to the same task, one calling it boring and the other calling it interesting. The same individual may also show more boredom one day than another. And some people may become adjusted readily to boring tasks than repetitive ones.

Many studies revealed that production was slow and variable when workers experienced boredom and monotony. During the period of boredom, workers complained of restlessness. The loss of production is associated with the feeling of boredom, monotony and Fatigue by repetitive nature of work.

Countering the Effects of Monotony, Boredom and Fatigue

1. Psychological tests are used to locate certain personality factors related with boredom, so that careful selection and placement can solve the problem to a certain extent.

2. Introducing change in the jobs that are highly repetitive.

3. Making job more interesting, by attaching some meaning to them.

4. Setting up clear short-term production goals so that the worker is greatly motivated to reach them.

5. Another way of combating monotony is providing social and recreational activities during and outside the working hours.

6. Reducing interruptions of work.

7. Introducing necessary changes in work situations to make workers feel that they have their tasks completed.

Increasing Industrial Productivity through Favourable Working Environments

The working environments determine the industrial productivity. The following favourable working environments will increase industrial productivity :

1. Proper illumination in the work place.

2. Noise may lead to curtailment of production and deafness in some situations. The harmful effects of noise should be prevented or eliminated.

3. Atmospheric conditions like temperature, air flow, humidity, color and music may have favourable or unfavorable impact on working efficiency of the employees. Hence, good atmospheric conditions should be maintained in the work place.

4. Alterative work schedule options should be introduced. They have the effect of improving employee motivation, productivity and satisfaction. The different types of work schedules are:

(a) Compressed work week (e.g., 4 days a week-10 hours a day).

(b) Shorter work week (e.g., work for 8 hours a day 4 days a week).

(c) Flexible working hours (allow an employee, within specific parameters, to decide when to go to work and when to leave).

(d) Job sharing (two or more individuals share a job). One of them may work in the morning shift and the other one may work in the evening shift (or they can work on alternative


(e) Telecommuting (employee work at their homes on computers that are linked to the office).

5. Shift work (shift rotation, day shift and night shift).

6. Rest pauses (it is that period in which the worker is neither called upon to work nor expected to work).

There are three different types of fatigue: physical, mental and chronic. The following information briefly describes these types of fatigue, there impact on your safety and what can be done to protect against them.

Physical Fatigue, symptoms may include :

• A temporary loss of muscle power to respond to demands.

• A feeling of tiredness, soreness, or discomfort.

• Physical performance declines.

Mental Fatigue, symptoms may include :

• A feeling of tiredness after extended or repeated tasks... particularly non-physical tasks such as driving.

• May include feeling of monotony of boredom caused by lack of varied stimulation.

Mental fatigue negatively affects your level of alertness at the wheel and leads to poor driving performance

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