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Are you a workaholic?

Last updated on: November 16, 2011 18:42 IST

Are you a workaholic?

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Manasi Chaudhari, Lifemojo.com

According to a recent survey conducted by global workplace solutions provider Regus more than half of Indian employees work more than eight hours a day and many of them even take their office job home.

"The long-term effects of this overwork could be damaging both to workers' health and overall productivity as workers drive themselves too hard and become disaffected, depressed or even physically ill," said Regus' regional vice president (South Asia) Madhusudan Thakur

How do you identify a workaholic? Aren't we all told to set high goals and work towards them? So why should anyone who is working all the time be termed a workaholic? The truth is that we work in order to live a good life and if we only work all the time, we don't have a life outside work at all. Workaholics, unlike normal hardworking persons, have no time to eat or sleep and seek attention to the fact that they work all the time.

LifeMojo is one of the most trusted source of information about good health and wellness. To those who want to manage their health themselves, LifeMojo provides necessary information, tips, tracking tools and support to help them stay informed and motivated.


Photographs: Rediff Archives
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Identifying the workaholic

The workaholic may be identified by some behaviour that s/he exhibits.

Physical signs

  • The workaholic does not find time to eat, and postpones meal times. Her/his health suffers and s/he finds it difficult to focus and be productive at work
  • Poor sleeping habits are another indicator of a workaholic. S/he works till late at night, is up at dawn and goes to work early. S/he suffers from irritability, poor memory, concentration and is unable to find solutions to simple problems at her/his office. Lack of sleep leads to obesity too
  • S/he does not relax, take a nap, listen to music or spend time on a hobby. S/he builds up a lot of stress in her/his life but does not know how to unwind
  • S/he can be seen in her/his office on holidays or when s/he is sick, because it is unthinkable to her/him that s/he should be away from her/his office and s/he neglects her/his health and her/his home


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Behavioural signs

  • A workaholic is essentially an addict who wants to work even when s/he is out on a family picnic or at a party with friends. In contrast a hardworking person wants to finish her/his work on time so that s/he may relax at a party with friends or go on a vacation and spend time with her/his family
  • A workaholic neglects the people close to her/him, like her/his family members or the friends s/he used to hang out with. S/he does not give importance to the milestones in the lives of her/his children or spouse
  • S/he does not understand the benefits of team work. S/he believes that s/he and s/he alone should do the work. S/he does not trust her/his subordinates and does not delegate work for fear that it would not be done properly. S/he wants to do everything by herself/himself
  • S/he fails to socialise and becomes a loner. As s/he has no time to fraternise, s/he loses touch with her/his friends. This adds to the stress as s/he increasingly finds that there is no one to sympathise with her/him in times of trouble. Her/his family too does not feel connected to her/him and s/he suffers from loneliness


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Effect on health

The repercussions of immersing yourself in work every working minute include, high levels of stress, anger, depression, anxiety, psychosomatic diseases such as headaches, acidity and other stomach related problems.

Remedial measures

1. Setting personal goals

Just as you set professional goals in order to achieve targets at the workplace, you also set personal goals; for success in life depends not only on your career but also on having an enjoyable personal life. Having fun with the family is not just going to make life happier for them but is also going to make you a more relaxed person. You strengthen your ties with family and friends and gain the support of people close to you. Just as you wish to make a good impression as a worker, you should also appear to your relatives as a valuable member of the family.



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2. Delegate when required

Delegation is a skill which would enable you to identify the people to whom you may assign some jobs so that you may do your part of the team work peacefully and efficiently. If you try to do all the work by yourself you will not only become extremely overworked but would not be able to complete the assignment.

Share your troubles

Your family does not wish to just have fun with you. They would also be happy to share your troubles. You may speak about the work load and the stress it puts on you. Family members and friends would empathise with you and help you in regaining the right life work balance.

As life gets more fast-paced than before, and the environment gets more competitive, we should be careful not to get into a monotonous routine of overwork, thereby hiding away from issues other than work related ones, such as our health, fitness, family and friends. We should make an effort to  find time for all aspects of our life that would make it a worthwhile one.



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