Are you a workaholic?

Work is a part of life, but it's not everything.

Posted Dec 21, 2010

Do you spend most of your day - including your free time - thinking about work?  Are you more concerned about what your boss thinks than your family?  Would you rather be in your cubicle than in your home?  If so, you could be a workaholic.

A new study from CareerBuilder looks at indicators of being addicted to work and what workers can do to find a happy medium between work and personal time in the New Year.  The nationwide survey was conducted between August 17 and September 2, 2010 and included more than 3,100 workers.

2010 brought with it leaner staffs and heftier workloads, making the power of slow a life-sustaining approach.  More than half of workers (52 percent) reported they put in more than 40 hours a week.  Fourteen percent work more than 50 hours.  Thirty-one percent bring home work at least once a week; one-in-ten bring home work at least every other day. 

For a quarter of workers, it's difficult to leave the office behind once they leave for the day. 

 • 24 percent of workers reported that when they're at home or out socially, they're still thinking about work. 

  • 19 percent often dream about work.
  • 16 percent stated that most of their conversations - at work, home or out socially - always tend to focus on work.

Extended workdays and an unwavering focus on business while at home are taking a toll on family relationships.

  • 22 percent of workers reported they don't have time to pursue personal interests because they say they're always working.
  • 15 reported that they would rather be working than at home.
  • 12 percent said the amount of time spent on work is causing friction with their family.
  • 9 percent are more concerned about approval from their boss than their family.

Workers reported increased stress levels and health complications tied to pressures at work.

  • 51 percent of workers reported their workloads have increased over the last six months.
  • 27 percent have not taken a personal or sick day in the last few years.
  • 26 percent have experienced health issues tied to stress on the job.

Does this sound like you?

"With increased demands at the office and greater accessibility through mobile devices, the workday literally never ends for some workers," said Rosemary Haefner, Vice President of Human Resources at CareerBuilder.  "While a strong work ethic is valued, a lack of balance with your personal life can ultimately work against you in the long run.  As the year wraps up, take inventory of your personal time and see where you need to make adjustments in 2011."   

Haefner offers the following power of slow tips to achieve a more manageable schedule and better work/life balance:

1) Set aside personal time.  You schedule business meetings and events.  Do the same for "me time" or "family time" and stick to the schedule.  Remember to put in some 'ma' into your day every day! 'Ma' is the Japanese term for the space between the beats in the music or a theatrical pause. That which follows has more import when you insert the space between things!

2) Let go.  Learn to delegate work-related tasks and responsibilities to others.  Delegation is a key power of slow notion. Remember you are not an expert in everything so leave it up to those who do it best!

3) Take yourself off the e-leash.  In most cases, that email or text can wait.  Turn off your electronic devices at a certain time.  Take care of personal commitments and put the kids to bed before turning it back on. This tip is essential to engage in time abundance. It can wait. It really can!

4) Talk to others who understand your situation.  Check out support groups such as Workaholics Anonymous and find out what others have done in their recovery. As a recovering speed-a-holic, I still struggle with those moments of wanting to rush things. That's when I turn to my Power of Slow fan page and ask others how they are doing. Build a collective (and join me there). We can help!

Also, my gift to you for 2011 is a free 10-week wisdom course that will help you slow down and embrace the clock as friend. Need more time? Take this audio course with weekly one-minute messages. They will serve to remind you there is more waiting for you in life than a pile of work at the office.

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive© on behalf of CareerBuilder among 3,067 U.S. workers (employed full-time; not self-employed; non-government) ages 18 and over between August 17 and September 2, 2010 (percentages for some questions are based on a subset, based on their responses to certain questions). With a pure probability sample of 3,125 one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/-1.75 percentage points. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies

About CareerBuilder®

CareerBuilder is the global leader in human capital solutions, helping companies target and attract their most important asset - their people. Its online career site,®, is the largest in the United States with more than 23 million unique visitors, 1 million jobs and 32 million resumes. CareerBuilder works with the world's top employers, providing resources for everything from employment branding and data analysis to recruitment support. More than 9,000 websites, including 140 newspapers and broadband portals such as MSN and AOL, feature CareerBuilder's proprietary job search technology on their career sites. Owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE:GCI), Tribune Company, The McClatchy Company (NYSE:MNI) and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), CareerBuilder and its subsidiaries operate in the United States, Europe, Canada and Asia. For more information, visit


More Posts