There’s a difference between working hard and being a workaholic. According to Statistics Canada, one third of Canadians between the ages of 25 and 44 identified themselves as workaholics in 1998.

Working hard is a good work ethic, and admirable, but a workaholic can be damaging their health and relationships by using work as an escape.

Workaholics are addicted to work. They’re driven, they’re often perfectionists and they’re generally characterized by:

  • working overtime
  • unable to delegate to others
  • neglecting meals and leisure activities
  • refusing to take days off
  • taking on more than one person can handle

With laptops, cell phones, PDAs and WiFi, work is never out of reach. For workaholics, however, technology is not to blame. Workaholics suffer from a preoccupation. For example, the workaholic is on holiday on a sunny beach and dreaming about being back at work. The hard worker is in the office and dreaming about lying on a sunny beach.

As one psychotherapist likes to point out, “Workaholism is similar to alcoholism in some ways. Just as an alcoholic will hide bottles around the house and drink furtively; workaholics may try to sneak in work when they think no one is looking.”

Like most addictive habits, recovery is slow but possible. The goal is finding a balance between work and life while at the same time – decreasing family tension and increasing the quality of one’s work. Check out Workaholics Anonymous if you’re questioning whether you, or someone you know, may be a workaholic. This national support group is modeled on Alcoholics Anonymous and similar 12-step programs.

Source: and WebMD


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