Workaholism is not the same as working hard. Despite logging in an extraordinary amount of hours and sacrificing their health and loved ones for their jobs, workaholics are frequently ineffective employees.
In the U.S., and Canada workaholism remains what it’s always been: the so-called “respectable addiction” that’s dangerous as any other. “Workaholism is an addiction, an obsessive-compulsive disorder, and it’s not the same as working hard. Workaholic’s obsession with work is all-occupying, which prevents workaholics from maintaining healthy relationships, outside interests, or even take measures to protect their health.
Workaholism in Japan is considered a serious social problem leading to early death, often on the job, a phenomenon dubbed karōshi. Overwork was popularly blamed for the fatal stroke of Prime Minister of Japan Keizō Obuchi, in the year 2000.
Five Ways To Pull Yourself out of Workaholism
‘In sickness and in health and till death do us part’ — if these are the vows your family and friends think you have exchanged with your Blackberry/ keyboard/iPad, then you are a certified workaholic. The symptoms are many, but some of the significant ones are that you punch away nonstop, receive every call from office and take your meals at odd hours to finish that extra bit at work. All this leads to anxiety disorders, repetitive stress injury, mental and physical fatigue, and this strong alliance with work is best severed at the start. Devina Sengupta suggests how you can do that.
1 Draw Clear Boundaries
Clocking out of work is just as important as clocking in. Working post-office hours is acceptable if there is an urgent assignment but if it becomes a habit, alarm bells should start ringing. It helps to unplug phones and computers during vacations and non-working hours.
2 Check on Employees
Employers need to look into the employees’ attendance sheets and office hours. Sabre, for instance, found that despite giving employees access to wellness centres, counselling sessions and discount coupons at gyms, they were still packing in extra hours at work. The firm, therefore, does not offer the option of carrying forward holidays .
3 Say a Firm ‘No’
‘Workaholics anonymous’ groups don’t exist, but instead, a simple ‘no’ can go a long way. Complete your tasks first, and only if there is time to spare, offer another a helping hand. Once the tasks are done, wait for the next day to start on the new list of chores.
4 Extra isn’t Always Healthy
The boss often thinks that those who work round the clock are the productive ones. But a smart worker can be someone who punches in the required hours, completes his work and leaves office on time too. In a recent Randstad survey of stateowned companies, 80% of employees said they received work-related calls and emails beyond office hours. Nearly 69% said they volunteered to work post-office hours while 79% received work-related calls and emails on holidays. Long hours lead to a dip in productivity and creativity.
5 Watch your Schedule
Often, the employee in the cubicle next to you could be a night owl at the office, but that need not be your style. Excessive breaks, long watercooler conversations will ultimately lead to more time in the office, and not a very fruitful schedule.