The opposite of a burnout is a boreout. A psychological disorder that causes physical illness, mainly caused by mental underload at the workplace due to lack of either adequate quantitative or qualitative workload.

The office job I have been working in for the last year was paying well but did not give me much intellectual input. Most of the days I felt like I could manage all my projects in half the time. But instead of just finishing the office projects in the first half of the day and secretly working on personal projects in the second half, I procrastinated, spreading the office projects throughout the day and spending all the time in between on YouTube, Reddit or Instagram. As a result I became lazy and unmotivated. But the job also offered career opportunities for my future as well as valuable contacts, which I didn’t just want to give up on. Having worked as a freelance designer for the years prior, I was happy about the steady paycheck and health benefits. But once I identified this problem of lacking happiness and motivation, I knew I needed to figure out a solution. I presented my boss with a theory: If I only worked part time, but for the same payment, I would be more productive, motivated and efficient. He laughed at me, disagreeing. Why should he pay the same money if I only showed up half the time? Good point. The only way I could convince him was by trying out an experiment. As a result, on April 12 2021 I decided to quit my job towards the end of May and devided my remaining vacation time over the upcoming weeks weeks. At least for six weeks, I would basically work for two days a week, for the same payment as before. During my KISD talk on May 25 2021 I will explain my decision further, reflect on this six week experiment, the pros and cons of being a versatile designer, and authenticity in the digital age. I will also tell you if my boss decided to hire me back.

Benedikt Schmitz
finished KISD in 2018 with an information design project about the subway map of Cologne. Since then he sang and played a 20 show concert tour tour, moved to Italy and back, finished his master’s degree at Politecnico Milano with a thesis project about the intersection of video gaming and the food delivery industry, and wrote a feature film script as well as some »terrible sketches for a German comedian«.
Online Talk hosted by Prof. Michael Gais and Prof. Andreas Wrede:

Online Talk:


Code: KISDtalks