Young people are suffering from "workaholism", the work addiction that affects 66% of Millennials.


This article was originally published by Morning FUTURE here.

Young people are suffering from “workaholism”, the work addiction that affects 66% of Millennials. Photo by Avi Richards on Unsplash

In bathrooms, on the subway, at the post office, in the gym, during dinners with friends: young people are suffering from “workaholism,” or work addiction. According to research published last year in the American magazine Forbes, it is affecting 66% of Millennials – a situation that has most likely become worse, not better, due to COVID-19. With details that are cause for concern: 32% admitted to working even when sitting on the toilet; 63% claimed they were productive even when sick; 70% is always active even on weekends. And according to a poll published in the Washington Examiner, 39% of digital natives would be willing to work even on vacation.

The separation between private life and work no longer exists, with the latter now taking over the first. It’s what in the United States they call “hustle culture“, the idea that to be successful you need to be at the top of your work game every day.

The main culprit of this hyper-productivity is technology, of course, which allows us to work wherever and whenever we want. All you need is a connection, no need to even go to the office. And with smartphones, we constantly have a desk at hand, running the inevitable risk of never disconnecting and living in a continuous cycle in which the work is ever present. The number of working hours becomes longer, breaks up and covers every area of private life.

Other factors that generate work addiction are demanding managers, the excessive desire to succeed, the fear of not having a career, and not being as good as others. Widespread concerns among a generation, the Millennials, which shows a lot of concern for the future compared to baby boomers.


“The separation between private life and work no longer exists. It’s what in the United States they call “hustle culture”, the idea that to be successful you must be at the top of your work game every day.”

This is the so called “workaholism”, a term coined in 1971 by psychologist Wayne Oates in the book Confessions of a Workaholic: The Facts about Work Addiction. The term refers to the compulsion or uncontrollable need to work incessantly. An addiction that can cause symptoms such as anxiety, insomnia, depression and weight gain. So much so that the Millennials’ generation is also known as the “burnout generation“. And the unlimited work hours affect social relations with friends, relatives, wives and husbands. The result is that divorce rates very high: according to a research conducted on 300 women by Dr. Bryan Robinson of the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, only 45% of workaholics are able to avoid it, compared 84% of the average population.

Specific therapy centers have even been created to treat work addiction. The most important is based in New York and is called “Workaholics Anonymous”. Not only: you can find self-help books to be free from work addiction, which include techniques very similar to those used with alcoholism or drug abuse, in bookstores. But in this case, the substance to detox from is overworking.

Related

News and Research

Top 5

Workers push for their employers to step up to the mark on environmental and social justice issues: TOP 5 Trends From The World Of Work

Staff push for their employers to deliver on environmental and social justice issues; Millions of US people became freelancers for the first time, but there is an educational and social divide between those workers who can and cannot work remotely. A majority of UK employees have the skills to survive automation, while two-thirds of companies foot the bill for home offices. These are the top 5 trends in the world of work:

11 December 2020

Top 5

Government To Offer 50% Tax Cut To Attract Remote Workers: TOP 5 Trends From The World Of Work

The Greek government is offering a 50% tax incentive to attract remote workers. Unilever pilots a four-day work week in New Zealand. The number of online job adverts used as a proxy for the health of the labour market. Offices should cater for socialising, collaboration, concentration and have access to nature. Research in the U.S. shows single mothers have been the hardest hit of all parents by the effects of COVID-19 with nearly 10% of them no longer in work.

04 December 2020

TOP 5

These Are Europe’s Most Inclusive Companies As Ranked By Employees: TOP 5 Trends From The World Of Work

Europe’s most inclusive companies ranked by employees. Company sees a jump in women applying for senior roles after introducing a fully flexible work scheme. The 6 main global economic implications of remote work. Millions are facing loss of jobless aid in the US. New study compares 20 government responses to mitigate Covid-19 impact. These are the trending stories in the world of work.

20 November 2020