What Is a Workaholic?

There was a time when the term "workaholic" was considered cool, mainly because an employee performs his or her very best to the company. However, some workers became so workaholic that they consume more time in the office instead than with their families.

According to a study conducted by University of California in Santa Barbara, More than 31 percent of college-educated employees in the United States spend more than 50 hours in their workplace every week. These long hours lead to burnout, but for them it has become an addiction and health experts agree that it is a negative behavior. In fact, many Workaholics Anonymous chapters have been created in the country to help workers cope with the addiction.

Workaholism defined

Just like alcoholism, workaholism (or excessive working) can take many forms according to Workaholics Anonymous. These include deriving an employee’s self-identity and self-esteem from what he does; keeping overly busy, but neglecting his health, relationships, and spirituality; seeing everything as work-related; having no desire to do anything; procrastinating; postponing vacations and rest in favor of work; doing unnecessary work; perfectionism; avoiding intimacy, and being controlling.

Although working contantly is not a bad thing, workaholics admit into having little or no social life. Some workaholics may even see their work as fun and passion, while others feel compelled to be doing it all the time. Such compulsion to work can actually diminish productivity and may sour work relationships.

Workaholics also tend to downplay the impact their habit have on those around them, including making peers and subordinates feel they have to maintain the same breakneck pace, setting an unideal example of maintaining a reasonable work-life balance. Working constantly can also make a worker feel that they seem inefficient. Putting in constant face time seems like they are more focused on effort than results.

Recovering from workaholism

Dealing with workaholism may take some time, but it begins with a single step. Take some time off for starters. If you have kids, let your spouse (or a relative, if you are a single parent) take them to school.

Teach your children to entertain themselves so they do not have to call you if they want to get a toy from the toy box or when their favorite cartoon is on. You could also hire a babysitter once a week to allow yourself some time to take care of yourself such as taking exercises, meditations, and even journal writing.

You may also find respite by negotiating alternative work schedules, setting-up additional time with your family, or even exploring new career options. If your work issues have become severe, however, a support group may offer relief.