Do you spend much more time working than initially intended or you become stressed if you are prohibited from working? Chances are that you are already a workaholic. In a first, Norwegian researchers have formulated a seven-point criteria that decides if you have reached the level of chronic work addiction or not.
“If you reply ‘often’ or ‘always’ to at least four of these seven criteria, there is some indication that you may be a workaholic. This is the first scale to use core symptoms of addiction found in other more traditional addictions like withdrawal symptoms, conflict, relapse problems,” said Schou Andreassen from University of Bergen, Norway.
The seven criteria are: 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/or depression and you have been told by others to cut down on work without listening to them.
The last three guidelines are: You become stressed if you are prohibited from working; you deprioritise hobbies, leisure activities, and/or exercise because of your work; and you work so much that it has negatively influenced your health.
The study found that 8.3 percent of the Norwegian work force is addicted to work to the point where it becomes a health issue.
Both men and women tend to compulsively overwork.
“We did find that younger adults were affected to a greater extent than older workers,” said Andreassen.
Andreassen points out that workaholism may have contradictory psychological, physiological, and social outcomes.
“The fact that more than eight percent of the general work population seems to suffer from workaholism underlines the need for proper treatment and other relevant interventions,” researchers emphasised.
The results have been published in the journal PLOS One.