What is FOMO and why should employers be worried?

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Have you heard of FOMO? It’s the new ‘ism’ rocking the business world, striking down millions of employees and stopping them working to their full capacity.

Yet what is it?

FOMO stands for ‘Fear Of Missing Out’ – a truly modern condition caused by a number of changes in the workplace. Worryingly, FOMO has an adverse effect on the engagement levels of employees, which is then passed on to the wider business.

It is a staggering statistic but 30% of employees feel it is unlikely they will ever fulfill their career aspirations, with younger workers feeling the worse hit.

So what are the main conditions causing FOMO:


30% of employees feel they are overqualified for their current job, with little opportunity of progression upwards. Research shows that these employees are more likely to be disengaged at work.

Internal structure

In recent years, businesses have stripped away hierarchical structures of managers and become flatter organisations, with less management tiers. Consequently there is growing uncertainty on what constitutes career progression and how one moves ‘upwards’ in their organisation. This leads to growing frustration among employees, who feel stuck in their role.

Meaningful Work

Many employees want more fulfilling and productive roles at work. They are looking for roles that interest them and are worn down by roles that lack meaning to them. Personalisation is key, as well as matching employee skills to roles.

In order to reverse the negativity of FOMO, employers are recommended to move the focus away from career progression and towards employee growth. This includes giving employees more opportunities to work across the business, experiencing new ways of working and testing themselves in new departments and on a variety of projects. The focus should be on breadth rather than depth.

Employee disengagement is toxic for any business and could prove fatal is allowed to fester as it manifests in increasing absence or frequent misconduct and disruption. If you are concerned about disengaged employees, please contact Avensure today for a free consultation, where we will assess your problems and provide recommendations going forward.


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