Work is good. It gives purpose and meaning to the day. If our job matches our abilities and skills it becomes a medium for personal expression. Work enables us to create, contribute, grow experience life, and let’s not forget it pays the bills. However, as with any good thing, even work can become a negative if it is abused.
In a review of the top ten workaholic countries in the world, based on the number of employees who work on public holidays, South Africa has been listed as number three. (http://www.skills-universe.com/video/top-10-most-workaholic-countries-in-the-world)
There has been an increasing emphasis on working harder for longer. Employees are commended when they stay late at the office or work over weekends and there is an unwritten rule that senior executives should be the last to leave at the end of the day.
As psychologist Catherine Gildiner explains “Every time you do more work, people say well done”. In contrast people who suffer from drug or alcohol addiction are reprimanded when they continue to indulge in their destructive behaviour.
As a result people are spending more time at the office, or thinking about work.
Is your work life balanced?
Here are some questions taken from the Workaholics Anonymous website to determine whether work has become your number one priority.
- Do you get more excited about your work than about family or anything else?
- Are there times when you can charge through your work and other times when you can't?
- Do you take work with you to bed? On weekends? On vacation?
- Is work the activity you like to do best and talk about most?
- Do you work more than 40 hours a week?
- Do you turn your hobbies into money-making ventures?
- Do you take complete responsibility for the outcome of your work efforts?
- Have your family or friends given up expecting you on time?
- Do you take on extra work because you are concerned that it won't otherwise get done?
- Do you underestimate how long a project will take and then rush to complete it?
- Do you believe that it is okay to work long hours if you love what you are doing?
- Do you get impatient with people who have other priorities besides work?
- Are you afraid that if you don't work hard you will lose your job or be a failure?
- Is the future a constant worry for you even when things are going very well?
- Do you do things energetically and competitively including play?
- Do you get irritated when people ask you to stop doing your work in order to do something else?
- Have your long hours hurt your family or other relationships?
- Do you think about your work while driving, falling asleep or when others are talking?
- Do you work or read during meals?
- Do you believe that more money will solve the other problems in your life?