Are you a workaholic? It is a serious addiction that can have serious consequences for your health and your life in general, do not forget it. In this post I talk to you about how to identify it.
Adicto al trabajo

I’ve been wanting to write about work addiction for a long time. What in the world of management is known as Workaholic. That is people who are addicted to work. It is a serious addiction that can have serious consequences (in my professional life I have seen numerous close people who have had serious problems due to their addiction to work).

The term Workaholic was created by the American psychologist Wayne Oates in the 1960s. It was popularized thanks to Wayne’s own book “Confessions of a Workaholic”, published in 1971. The curious reason that led him to write this book was that his own son had to call the company where his father worked to make an appointment to speak with him. Oates defined workaholism, as “the compulsion or uncontrollable need to work incessantly.”

Currently, addiction to work is very present in our society, especially among the most successful professionals. According to Harvard Business Review, American companies’ CEOs work an average of 62.5 hours a week compared to the average of 44 hours for a worker. As Harvard professor and social scientist Arthur C. Brooks explains, “workaholics are in a vicious circle: they succeed by working more than others and therefore want to maintain this success by always working hard.” In fact, Brooks defends, that workaholics are addicted to success. However, addiction to work feeds fear and loneliness.


  1. Do you usually spend your free time in activities related to your work?
  2. Do you usually think about your work when you are not working?
  3. Do you usually work much more than what is required of you?

I suppose that many of the people who have read these 3 questions have answered affirmatively to them. Many of us who answer yes to these 3 questions are not workaholics, but rather we enjoy our work and are committed to getting good results. And to better discern people who love their jobs from those who are true workaholics, BROOKS PROPOSES 3 DIFFERENT QUESTIONS:

  1. Do you spend all your energy at work and leave your loved ones without your energy?
  2. Do you put yourself to work to the minimum that your personal or family circumstances make it possible for you?
  3. Are you anxious and unhappy when you are asked to stop working to pursue leisure activities with your loved ones?

According to Brooks, people who are true workaholics tend to answer yes to these 3 questions.

WORKING A LOT IS NOT THE SOLUTION TO INCREASING YOUR PRODUCTIVITY. Numerous studies show that a person’s productivity begins to drop after 10 hours of work per day and is significantly REDUCED AFTER 12-14 HOURS WORKED.

WORK ADDICTION, LIKE ALL ADDICTIONS, USUALLY ENTAILS SERIOUS PROBLEMS FOR THE PERSON WHO SUFFERS FROM IT AND FOR THEIR ENVIRONMENT. Having work as the central axis of life causes problems to appear at the family level and at the health level: cardiovascular, gastric, and psychological problems are frequent, which also tend to negatively affect the family and can also lead to other addictions (alcohol, drugs, and others.)

I just wanted to write this post so that you are aware of not being a workaholic. In my professional career, I have worked, advised, and trained many. And I can assure you that in many cases this addiction entails significant personal, health, and happiness problems.

So, remember “Never be so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.”

Xavi Roca

I am Talentist, I help organizations, managers and professionals to achieve high performance through enhancing their leadership and personal brand. I am passionate about leadership, high performance team management and Personal Branding, and I have dedicated my professional career to helping companies and professionals develop and enhance their talents and strengths to achieve their maximum development and performance.

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