Workaholism has become such a problem that that many are calling it ‘the addiction of this century.’

How’s your work/life balance? Would you be surprised to learn that 10-25% of us are considered workaholics?

Our pace is quicker than ever before, and the ease and ability to stay connected can be a plus, but it can also be detrimental.

Few of us excel at saying “enough is enough”, and we rarely tell our colleagues or staff to improve their work/life balance.

Now it’s time to evaluate yourself. The Faculty of Psychology from The University of Bergen collaborated with Nottingham Trent University in the United Kingdom and created “The Bergen Work Addiction Scale”.

The questions include, and are to be rated on a scale of 1 (never) to 5 (always):

  1. You think of how you can free up more time to work
  2. You spend much more time working than initially intended
  3. You work in order to reduce feelings of guilt, anxiety, helplessness or depression
  4. You have been told by others to cut down on work without listening to them
  5. You become stressed if you are prohibited from working
  6. You deprioritize hobbies, leisure activities, and/or exercise because of your work
  7. You work so much that it has negatively influenced your health

If you scored 4 (often) or 5 (always) on four or more of the criteria, that classifies you as a workaholic.  How’d you do?

Maybe it’s time to set boundaries.

  • Pick 2 days a week when you will limit your work day to 8 hours
  • Pick 2-3 days a week when you commit to not doing additional work at home
  • And, we need to assess, based on our role, how much time to we truly need to make ourselves available each evening, on week-ends, and while on vacation or holiday.

Studies have concluded that people who work 50 or more hours per week were likely to experience both physical and emotional consequences. So, while it may seem like a good idea to work those long hours and attempt to achieve more, we can actually reduce our productivity level, increase error rates, and impact relationships.

Make sure to build in leisure time for doing the things you enjoy, and for spending sufficient time with family and friends!