Workaholics- What Breed is This?

What are these? Or who are these? Are you among these species? Oh you might be wondering why I’m calling them a species??? People who are working late, leave their units after everyone leaves, they are the ones who will reach office before anyone else. But one must say what is wrong in that it is actually a good habit to be in office before everyone else.

There are other factors or should I be calling them symptoms of Workaholics. If you are reaching home late, continuously from last six months. If you miss your children’s Parent Teacher meetings regularly, if you have no idea when did you last go out with your Spouse and kids or friends (who are not your office colleagues). If you remember your Boss’s birthday or even anniversary but you always forget yours. If the symptoms match then you surely are a workaholic and Yes, there is no problem being one till you really enjoy your work and not get obsessed with the work as it not only decreases the productivity but can harm work life balance also.

Some people may consider that someone who works extremely long hours to be a workaholic, but that has not proven to be entirely true. Certain occupations require a significant time commitment, such as the medical or legal professions, but a workaholic is not defined by the raw number of hours spent at work. A workaholic is more likely to volunteer for overtime hours or agree to take on a large project late in the week. Salaried employees may feel an obligation to work long hours, but a workaholic often feels extremely anxious or depressed if he does not work until exhausted.

However, what about the other species who look workaholic? Oh, don’t look so bewildered reading this…Yes you might have noticed people who look really busy all the time and stay late till the night to impress their boss but there work is always pending.
These people may have time to go for a game of pool in the office premises but they don’t have time to fill their appraisal form till the last date approaches.

This specie has time for a coffee break with their favorite co worker but do not have time to provide data or information to the other department. They will take a long break after the boss leaves for Samosa or Bread Pakora and tea party but they won’t leave office till 8:30 or 9:00 pm. They will earn that overtime while sitting in these pakora parties.

These so called workaholics will sit late in the office premises without realising that they are using facilities which cost a fortune to the companies without contributing for those idle hours.

In a top MNC, this is a regular feature at the end of every month the team will spend endless nights in the organization to complete the work and during the evenings they will be seen taking a Maggi break, Billiard break and Sutta Break(Cigarette break) just outside the premises (yes, after the boss has left the office premises).

I worked for one such company where the trainers during their training session are so busy in playing snooker that they forgot the break timings and the entire class of trainees kept waiting for almost 20 minutes after the break was over. And this same trainer can be seen working for many extra hours after his shift is over. Is he a workaholic?

Regardless of the reasons, workaholism can be a serious condition that can lead to the decline and destruction of families, as well as to serious stress-related health problems. When work becomes the sole reason for being — when it becomes the only thing we think about, the only thing that truly makes us happy — then it is time for some sort of intervention. And do not confuse hard work for workaholism. Hard workers know the boundaries between work and personal time and can function normally when not at work, while workaholics have no personal time and cannot function well outside of work.

Prevent the development of such workaholics who are actually not living up to the expectation though they seem to be working but costing a good fortune to the company. One such person in the organization will develop a new breed of few more and the companies may continue to suffer a loss at the cost of these workaholics.

Let me hear some cases from all of you and then we will discuss this topic in detail while discussing the cessation of development of such individuals in companies.

  • Colvirendra

    Good article. It is always better to be result oriented , monitoring to be done by self and superior both , rather than being getting too much absorbed in work process.Any boss can get rid of this breed provided they themselves dont encourage this breed and keep it in mind at the time of appraisal.
    Col Virendra

  • Naresh Sharma

    yes , i have seen many cases where YES MAN and procastinators ususally work late.

  • P.V.Kakkar

    people who are self obsessed with their own self-importance become workaholics.They are actually inefficient workers working under an inefficient boss and can never complete their work in time.However they want to convince themselves,others and the boss that they are the only ones who work.They are generally appreciated by incompetent bosses.

  • Archna Khurana Sharma

    Dear Mr. Kakkar, I have seen many competent bosses appreciating this breed as they usually do not want anyone to be ready for succession. So insecure bosses can also nurture such breeds.

  • P.V.Kakkar

    Dear Shri Archnahr,
    I agree with you but a competent boss can always make out the difference between a stooge and a worker.Though he may not appreciate efficiency openly because as Indians we are used to reverence and a culture of misconstrued respect to mean autocracy and thus look after his stooge more favourably.Because he knows where he needs the worker and where he needs the stooge.Generally the incompetent boss is more painful than a competent one since he also knows the level to which he can push which subordinate

  • Archna Khurana Sharma

    Dear Mr. Kakkar,

    Shrimati Archnahr is what I’m. i completely agree that incompetent boss is more painful for sure. Thanks for reading the article.

  • P.V.Kakkar

    Noted Madam ,for future with due apologies.Actually i didn’t break your up id into Archna & hr,but did wonder that one had not come across the name earlier and thought it was a full name like Nayar or Nahar spelt differently.