During your holiday, do you look forward to your business email? Don’t you have time to rest and realize your passions, because you spend most of the day in the office? Does your work consume the most attention? If at least one of these questions is answered in the affirmative, you run the risk of being workaholic!
Dynamically developing economy, pace of life, multitasking, pursuit of perfectionism in every area of life make workaholism one of the most frequent addictions of the modern world. In simple terms, it is a work addiction that causes continuous internal compulsion to do work as well as to think about it and, if the possibility of dealing with everyday professional duties is limited (for example during holidays), there is a feeling of discomfort. Interestingly, although workaholism is considered one of the addictions, it is also socially acceptable. Ambitious, committed and dedicated individuals are often treated as particularly valuable to organizations. Employers and employees are often not aware of how harmful this attitude is – for all parties.
The boundary between a strong commitment to work and workaholism is almost invisible. However, there are many worrying signals. Most often it starts with staying at work longer, overlapping more and more tasks and obligations. On the one hand, there is the fear that I will be able to deal with everything, and on the other hand, there is the enthusiasm for further challenges and their implementation. There is also a sense of uniqueness – here I am the only person who is able to perform a task. As a result, the internal need to perform additional tasks in the evenings or at weekends is increasing.
Intensive working life ultimately results in fatigue and increased stress, which is felt to be a source of strength and does not adversely affect people’s relationships with others. Only business contacts are satisfactory. Therefore, to the question “what can be heard?”, a workaholic usually answers about his work and professional matters. Relations with family and loved ones suffer because interpersonal contacts, which have no connection with work, start to appear in the eyes of the workaholic as a waste of time. It even happens that fatigue, stress and internal rush to carry out the next tasks translate into aggressive reactions, especially when you have to wait for something.
The pursuit of perfection makes workaholics devote more and more time to professional issues, although it seems that there is no such possibility anymore. Fatigue and irritation increase, which has a negative impact on personal life, health, but also… on professional life. There is an increased risk of both heart attack and depression and burnout. Usually the first feeling to appear is chronic fatigue.
Finally, despite the hard work, the workaholic no longer feels satisfied with his goals. The stress experienced every day, combined with the fatigue caused by hard work, means that efficiency begins to decrease. Added to this are sleep problems, deteriorating concentration, mental and emotional exhaustion and poorer health. There is arrogance, a lack of patience, empathy and understanding in relationships with colleagues. It also happens that workaholics, because of health problems, but also because of the willingness to fulfil their tasks, use drugs and psychoactive substances that are supposed to help them in this process. Unfortunately, instead, they get involved in another addiction.
Is there a “golden mean” in today’s world and a real chance of achieving a “work-life balance”? Fortunately, yes. Knowing how negative the effects of workaholism are, it is worth preventing it and not leading to a situation when it will be almost impossible to cope with the situation. Especially because it is difficult to quit one’s own addiction. Friends, family and professional therapists are very supportive – both in preventing and dealing with this difficult situation.
The question of how to be a committed, ambitious and valued employee and how to achieve a work-life balance is difficult to answer, and theories, publications and ideas on this subject are plentiful. Employers themselves strive to prevent such problems by offering a variety of benefit packages – from flexible working hours to massages, relaxation rooms, preventive care and sports cards. However, it is crucial that we become aware of what we call happiness, and that we learn to prioritise and effectively separate private life from work. Later on, the key to success becomes consistency in the implementation of your plan and assumptions. A sense of life satisfaction will finally translate into efficiency and will allow you to undertake new tasks with enthusiasm.
What do I want for myself and for you!