As the US toes the line between putting work above family as they do in much of Asia, and the laid-back “live life to the fullest” mindset that encapsulates much of the workspace in Europe, we have a hard time finding that balance. That’s why, in 1971, psychologist Wayne Oates introduced the term “workaholism.”
People suffering from the disease feel “the compulsion or the uncontrollable need to work incessantly.” Those suffering from it are said to be ‘workaholics.” The term had already been made popular in the 1960s, with the common words work and alcoholic being combined to sum up much of the pre-Vietnam era workforce.
In the years since the phrase was coined, July 5th has been the day to draw attention to this horrible trait. Many people still are participating in the day and don’t even know it. Here are eight signs someone is a workaholic (and it might be you!)…
- They come to work early, skip their lunch and stay late. These poor souls would sleep under their desks if HR hadn’t already told them to stop. By being overly dedicated to an employer, they manipulate themselves into thinking the business would fail if they weren’t there.
- They feel obligated to be active at all times, which may drive them to perform tasks outside of their work description. Even after finishing a project with 80-hour weeks and two months without a day off, they can’t just sit and bask in a job well done after the pitch ends. Instead, they are going back over the pitch and trying to figure out where they left out a detail or what came up short, even though no feedback has been received yet.
- They don’t have any hobbies. No fishing, poetry, or even movie nights. If it doesn’t involve their job and advancing their career, they could care less.
- When they are not at work, they are stressed and often deal with FOMO, i.e., Fear Of Missing Out. You know the type. They got COVID and were calling the office 6 times a day even when they were on the respirator. Look at where that dedication got them. At least their service was nice and the big bosses sent their best intern to pass along their condolences.
- Because they struggle with self-care and spending time with their family, they are perplexed by coworkers who prioritize work-life balance. Family is nothing more than an anchor to hold these poor souls back. They don’t see the use of downtime or being with their kids, then they wonder why they get dumped in a nursing home…if they live long enough to make it.
- They hate taking vacations and when they do, they bring their work with them. For them, the only way they want to leave the office is if they are getting new certifications or going to training that will help their job performance. When the company won’t pay for it, these clowns are more than happy to spend their vacation days and salary dollars on them.
- They never assign tasks to others. If the boss asked them, it was because they wanted it done right. You can just wait till the boss acknowledges you and asks you themselves. You can’t steal their thunder.
- They are not only willing to take on additional responsibility but also actively encourage others to delegate additional responsibilities to them. The Senior manager got tasked with a 10-page report by Friday. They can help with that since it will get them out of going to graduation. Nothing would make them happier than getting this done.
- They’ll argue over the telltale signals that they’re a workaholic. Honestly, they won’t argue with you. They’ll just refuse to see your logic…Then again, now this list is 9 signs long. Maybe it’s time for me to talk with my boss about my workaholism?