Many of us put in some long days from time to time to get an important job done. Some folks take their work a little more seriously, but it’s because they want to create a good first impression. Then there are those people who are genuinely addicted to their work.
Over 10 million Americans right now average more than 60 hours of work per week.
Sometimes extended work weeks are a necessity. Bills need to be paid, food needs to be purchased, and there might only be one income earner in the family. When this work becomes an addiction and the worker stays at the office more than they stay at home, however, trouble will begin brewing for the workaholic in every aspect of their life.
- The average American worker receives 13 vacation days every year, but 34% of workers don’t take a single day of that vacation in any given 12 month period.
- Even when people do take vacation days, 30% of people say they worry constantly about work while they are trying to relax.
- Between 1970 and 2006, the average number of hours in a working year for the average American worker increased by a total 200 hours.
- 86% of those who admit to workaholic tendencies state that they feel like they must rush through their day in order to get work done effectively.
- More than half of all workaholics end their work day feeling like they weren’t able to accomplish as much as they could.
Working hard is different than being addicted to your work. There’s nothing wrong with giving a 100% effort at what you do. The problem of the workaholic is that they feel like giving 100% isn’t enough. Instead of putting in an 8 hour day, they’ll put in a 12 hour day. Instead of working 5 days per week, they’ll work 6 days per week. Instead of taking vacation days, they’ll choose to sit in the office and keep working on the next project – for self-gratification rather than chasing a promotion or earning more money. The workaholic works harder because they feel guilty or even ashamed if they do not.
What Are The Consequences Of Being a Workaholic?
- The divorce rate in relationships where at least one person is classified as a workaholic: 55%.
- 60% of people who admit to being a workaholic said they spend 20 minutes or less eating lunch every day.
- 1 out of 4 people who say they are workaholics will not leave their desk for lunch or to take breaks during the day.
- 75% of workaholics say that they eat lunch at their desk at least 3 times per week.
- A study in the Netherlands showed that 33% of workaholics have regular migraine headaches because of the stresses of their job.
- 3% of workaholics feel physically ill when they are not at work, mimicking withdrawal symptoms that are associated with addictive drugs.
- People who work 11 hours a day or more have a 67% greater chance of suffering from coronary heart disease when compared to those who work a typical 8 hour day.
- Anyone working 12 or more hours a day is 37% more vulnerable to suffering an injury that is job-related, even in an office environment.
It has been proven that the human body only has so much energy that it can provide over the course of a day. Even when that energy is properly managed, it will still eventually go away. That’s why longer working days are so devastating on the workaholic. When 12 hour days are worked, they are providing themselves with only 4 hours of recharge time before sleep is required and the day is repeated. To support the higher energy levels, sugary snacks, coffee, and other high caloric options are selected. This is often why the workaholic weighs more, has greater health risks, and a generally unpleasant life. Then there’s the divorce rate to consider. Of course workaholics get divorced more often – they’re rarely at home.
- Workaholism affects an estimated 30% of the general population.
- The percentage of high income earners that work a minimum of 60 hours per week: 35%.
- 10% of high income earners work an average of 80 hours per week.
- 85.8% of males and 66.5% of females work more than 40 hours a week.
- About one-third of the general population in industrialized countries self-identify as being a workaholic.
- The primary country that has a problem with workaholism is the US: American workers put in nearly 500 more working hours every year than their French counterparts. That’s like adding an additional 12 weeks of work every year.
- The Japanese have a term for “working until death,” but American workers average 137 more hours per year than their Japanese counterparts.
Capitalism is the religion of the United States. Many might say that it is a Christian nation, but it is a money-loving nation at its heart. People are required to work harder and longer to make ends meet because they have no other option. Wages for the Middle Class have been static for 30 years. The value of the minimum wage has consistently dropped since it was first introduced. More people than ever before are using government assistance because they can’t make ends meet even working two or three jobs. Americans need to be able to start working smarter instead of harder, as other nations do. We also need to eliminate the positive sitgmas that are associated with long working hours and encourage workers to take their benefits instead of criticizing them in doing so. What would happen if American workers dropped 100 hours per year? They’d still be working harder than anyone else… but maybe they’d be a little happier.