Many aspects of modern life and the hustle and bustle that is 21st century life have all led to a more fast-paced work life for many. Today, it is often thought that the person who can work the hardest, fastest, and the longest hours is the most successful one. This is not necessarily the case, though, and too much focus on work for any individual can actually be detrimental.
According to Forbes, being a workaholic is a very specific thing. They interviewed Psychotherapist Bryan Robinson, who is also a professor emeritus at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and author of the book Chained to the Desk: A Guidebook for Workaholics, Their Partners and Children, and the Clinicians Who Treat Them. He said:
“Workaholism isn’t simply defined by working long hours. True workaholism is the inability to turn off thoughts of work. A workaholic is someone on the ski slopes who is dreaming about being back in the office. A healthy worker is in the office dreaming about being on the ski slopes.”
According to Robinson, though becoming a workaholic is something that the individual has total and complete control over, his or her place of employment does make a difference, and this is where work-life integration and separation come into play. Some businesses and companies make it a point to make it very difficult for those who work there to become addicted to their work. Others make it pretty easy to work long hours and become very embroiled in their work, and some others in fact almost press it upon their employees.
When you try to address a potential bout of workaholism, it’s important to weigh in a fair amount of personal accountability. There were a lot of decisions and changes in your life that you probably made to put yourself in a position where you felt you were addicted to your work. However, there might be a certain amount of accountability that rests on the shoulders of your employer too.
Just as much as individual workers need to find the perfect balance of integration and separation into and from work, so do companies themselves need to find a perfect balance in how they work their employees. The companies with the perfect balances tend to be the most successful, and the individuals who also find the best balance themselves tend to be the happiest.
Several Businesses that Offer Excellent Work-Life Integration and How They Do It
In an effort to promote work environments that offer the most ideal mix of integration and separation, some companies have worked hard to create environments that are employee-focused. These companies actually encourage work-life balance by offering things such as childcare services, office “quiet” spaces, flexible schedules, volunteer opportunities, and more. Keep in mind that you can take total control and responsibility for your career and find perfect integration and separation with whatever company you work for, but it helps to work for a stellar company (like the ones listed below) that does so in the first place: [Read more…]