Are You a Workaholic?

Author: Michelle Russell       

According to the results of this year’s Convene Salary Survey, respondents average a 46-hour workweek — and nearly one-quarter spend more than 50 hours a week on the job.

But working long hours doesn’t neccessarily mean that you are a workaholic — you may just have too much on your plate. 

Norwegian researchers from the Department of Psychosocial Science at the University of Bergen created a work addiction scale that can help you to assess the likelihood that you are addicted to work. As described in a Forbes article, “7 Signs You May Be a Workaholic,” the researchers used the following seven criteria:

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

2. You spend much more time working than initially intended.

3. You work in order to reduce feelings of guilt, anxiety, helplessness, and/or depression.

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

5. You become stressed if you are prohibited from working.

6. You deprioritize hobbies, leisure activities, and/or exercise because of your work.

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

If you answered with “often” or “always” to any of these points, you may be a workaholic. Studies have suggested about 10 percent of the average population are workaholics.

According to a recent Harvard Business Review article, another study on workaholics — defined as being different from those who merely work long hours by their struggle to psychologically detach from work — found that the chronic stress they experience takes a toll on their health. The study results also suggest two important takeaways: 1) When it comes to effects on health, working long hours isn’t as bad as obsessing over it; and 2) “Workaholics who love their jobs are somewhat protected from the most severe health risks, and this may be because they feel that their work is worth all the hard work they put in.”