Generally speaking, workaholism is addictive behaviour, a condition of working to excess. While, this tendency coincides with but does not stem from demanding conditions workplace conditions, it is pursuing work in such a way that it can prove detrimental to other life interests, particularly family relationships. Not only does it disrupt family life, it represents an addictive pattern that drives one to work to the exclusion of all other potential sources of life satisfaction. Family, friends, community involvement, and even personal health are all secondary to work.
Workaholism causes individuals to give constant priority to work, leaving families to struggle with the negative outcome of workaholism, such as, neglecting of personal health, which can result in illness or premature death. Instead, of contributing to the family’s well being, workaholism can create a new and different type of burden for his / her family.
When considering workaholism within the dysfunctional pattern of addiction, there are numerous implications for organizational functioning, in addition to the difficulties in family and personal life. These problems include a range of interpersonal difficulties – untrustworthiness, lack of ability to delegate or share control, perfectionist standards that supply endless work – all contributing to general stress in the workplace.
There is a big distinction between working hard and being a workaholic. Workaholism, though it can be both good and bad is a problem and there are three types of it. One can help it by leading a balanced life. Workaholism is caused when one is disorganises, one finds reasons for working more and feels lost when there is no work to do. Workaholics use work to hide from problems they need to face up to, or don’t know how or when to relax. Their tendency to bring work home ends up in their being unable to communicate with their own family members. They end up leading unbalanced, one-dimensional lives wreaking havoc on their mental and emotional health.
Work beliefs, systems and workaholic role models push workaholics into this habit. Workaholism fuels a sense of self-worth and accomplishment. Bleak economic conditions, rising competition, shrinking companies foster the tendency to turn workaholic. People who tend to turn alcoholic are those who need to discharge their energy, need to prove their competence and tie their self-worth to work. People who want to escape from problems, such as, grief, frustration or guilt are also prone to becoming workaholics.
The consequences of workaholism are that the person suffering from it can’t stand having no work to do. He / She avoids going on vacation on the pretext of having too much work to catch up with. They feel more comfortable with co-workers than with family or personal friends. They begin to equate self-worth with hard work. They explain away time devoted to work as being for the best interests of the family. They begin to view their work and themselves as being indispensable.
It is in the best interests of everyone i.e. workaholic individual, his family and friends that he develops a hobby or other interests, such as, reading, fishing, spending time with the family or playing with the dog. The consequences of workaholism have far reaching consequences not only on the individual but also his family and friends. An addictive behaviour, keep your sanity by refusing to fall into the trap of workaholism!