Friday, 17 August 2012

Is work addiction real?

As summer is now in full swing, most of us will have had or be looking forward to a well-deserved break. We may joke when people can’t leave work at work, but there are some people who are compelled to work and do so excessively. These individuals are known as ‘workaholics’, but is it really possible to be addicted to work?

According to researchers from Norway and the UK the answer is yes, and they have even gone so far as to develop an instrument to measure work addiction which they have called The Bergen Work Addiction Scale. This scale, which appears in the Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, uses elements of addictions that are recognised as diagnostic criteria.

It is hardly surprising to learn that work addiction is on the rise, particularly considering the current climate, the new technology we have at our disposal and our lack of ability to switch off and separate our work from our home life. What might alarm us, however, is the association between work addiction and stress/burnout, health problems and insomnia as well as conflict between work and family.

Take a look at the scale and score each item below as follows:
(1) never, (2) rarely, (3) sometimes, (4) often, (5) always.

· You think of how you can free up more time to work.

· You spend much more time working than initially intended.

· You work in order to reduce feelings of guilt, anxiety, helplessness and depression.

· You have been told by others to cut down on work without listening to them.

· You become stressed if you are prohibited from working.

· You deprioritise hobbies, leisure activities, and exercise because of your work.

· You work so much that it has negatively influenced your health.

If you score ‘often’ or ‘always’ on at least four out of the seven items, this may suggest you are a workaholic.

First Psychology Scotland has centres in the following locations: Edinburgh: 0131-668-1440,
Glasgow: 0141-404-5411,
Borders: 01896-800-400,
Aberdeen: 01224-452-848,

1 comment:

  1. being a workaholic is addiction, you should know how to balance it..make sure that you would also yourself because too much work will kill you..

    addiction Psychology