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The Work Addicts Guide To Rebalance

oakstone international executive search work addicts guide to rebalance

As technology makes it increasingly easy to push beyond the 9-5, people need to start discussing addiction to work and the implications it can have on your health and personal life.  A recent Harvard study revealed that leaders worked 62.5 hours a week including 79% of weekend days.

In theory smartphones, computers and apps should make your workday shorter and more efficient however in reality it has led us to longer hours, distractions and the inability to disconnect.

According to the Bergen Work Addiction Scale, replying ‘often’ or ‘always’ to at least four of the following seven criteria may indicate a work addiction:

  • 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 depression.

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

  • You become stressed if you are prohibited from working.

  • You deprioritize hobbies, leisure activities, and exercise because of your work.

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

What are the consequences?

  • Burnout

  • Decreased productivity

  • Increased stress levels, guilt, anxiety and depression.

  • Poor health – including increased susceptibility to serious illnesses

How do you regain balance?

There are major symptoms of workaholics – aside from the number of hours workaholics work, there are also symptoms of poor health, guilt when not working and increased stress levels – there is also the feeling of never doing enough!

How can you stop being a workaholic?

Trust your team

There is no point in having a great team if you don’t utilise their capabilities. Trust your team to perform tasks for you – this will free up time for you to focus on more important tasks.  Plan your day the day before so you know what tasks HAVE to be done!

Reduce distraction

Again…plan your day! If you plan thoroughly then minimal time is wasted – ignore unimportant distractions and focus on important tasks! If your current way of working isn’t working for you or the people around you then make some changes.  Try flexible working - around 40% of employees believe work distraction could also be drastically reduced with flexible and remote working options, according to a report by Udemy.

Encourage a work-life balance

Have a maximum working hours limit per week, managers, leaders and CEO included.  Your employee’s health is more important than the hours they put in so encourage people to spend more time doing thing they love outside of work!

Don’t encourage outside working

Take your work email off your phone so you’re not tempted to start working at every given opportunity.  Don’t encourage people within your business to work outside of work either – evenings and weekends are needed to recuperate!

Plan your day more thoroughly

Work on only critical and most important tasks until they are completed.

Most people start with the easy tasks and then get stuck late working on the tasks they should have done first – this is a critical mistake – work on the key tasks first and you can procrastinate or leave the less important ones completely!

Make sure everyone in your business knows the difference between working hard and being addicted to work!