The term ‘Workaholism’ may sound familiar to you. For some reason, it has become a ‘fashion statement’ particularly in the corporate world where professionals take pride in saying it loud that they are pressed against the time for themselves and their friends and families. You may also have seen the business executives sitting back long hours at the offices just because their bosses keep sitting and they, in turn, do so because of their higherups and this never-ending thread practically destroys their personal and family lives. This doesn’t end here. Even in the remote working environment, like the current pandemic, people see their bosses online and they also stay online just to make them realise that they are working too.
The term was coined in 1971 by the psychologist Wayne Oates, who described workaholism as “the compulsion or the uncontrollable need to work incessantly” (Oates, 1971). Since then, research on workaholism has been plagued by disagreements surrounding how to define and measure the construct. One study shows that all this workaholic saga takes place in the organisations due to variety of reasons, professional insecurities, internal competition and sometimes incompetence on the employees’ part which practically damages the work life balance of the professionals.
The leaders must find a striking difference in work motivation between engaged and non-engaged workaholics. Engaged workaholics work because they enjoyed their work or find their work meaningful. These are intrinsic motivators. Non-engaged workaholics are more likely to work for extrinsic motivators such as money and status. Intrinsic motivation is associated with more optimism, effort, and persistence. Extrinsic motivation often instigates anxiety and undermines persistence, making failure more likely.
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