Who is a Real Workaholic?


The word ‘workaholic’ combines the term ‘work’ and the suffix ‘-holic’. Though it is negative in connotation, sometimes it is used by people to highlight a person’s devotion to his job or profession. The term ‘workaholic’ is viewed in a negative sense when it leads to neglect of family and other relations. If a person carries his cell phone to bed, works during weekends regularly and fails to find time to unwind any time, he may be termed a workaholic. A workaholic is obsessed with work all the time and gives priority to work over family and children.

Effects of workaholism:

  • In Japan, workaholism is projected to result in about 1000 deaths a year, equivalent to 5% of deaths in the country due to heart attack and stroke among employees below the age of 60.
  • In the Netherlands, people have been falling sick while trying to stop working. This phenomenon is referred to as ‘leisure illness’ and has affected about 3% of the population.
  • People have been so used to overworking that during weekends, they fall sick as they try to relax.
  • Workaholics usually continue working beyond the level of exhaustion and commit mistakes that demand more hard work to rectify. They also comprehend the emptiness when they get to where they desired to. This makes them set ever tougher goals for themselves, which only adds to the complexity of the problem. The first step in the treatment of workaholism is in recognizing the existence of the problem and realizing that the imbalance in lifestyle can lead to serious health hazards.

    There are many myths surrounding workaholism. It is commonly believed that it affects only executives. Workaholism is also considered to be positive, beneficial and controllable. In fact, it is a progressive disease. Workaholics can’t refuse work. When they are not working or thinking of work, they feel restless. Being very tired, they make mistakes and are also more susceptible to depression, neurosis, and tension, which have already reached high levels in workplaces.

    Part of the problem is the contemporary work culture and social mores. People are working for longer hours than in the past. Studies indicate that almost 40% of the employees do not take a vacation for fear of losing the job. Technologically, people remain connected all the time through emails, cell phones, fax, making it hard for employees to stay away from their work.

    It is imperative to identify workaholism and take remedial measures as soon as possible. A multi-pronged approach can help people with workaholism that includes counseling, behavioral changes and lifestyle modification. People affected with workaholism should make conscious attempt to divert their energy from work to rest, relaxation and recreation. They should incorporate leisure related activities in their schedule. When they develop anxiety, they should get to the root of the problem and get control over it. They should cease work at the assigned hour and forget about it till the next day. Workaholics should learn to delegate work to others and should shed the feeling that they only can do a particular job. Workaholics should consciously try to come out of the problem. If necessary, they should seek professional help to overcome the problem.

    Video below would guide you as to how you could overcome “Workaholic” tendencies in just over 3 minutes.


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