Reporting Stephanie Stahl
By Stephanie Stahl
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Are you a workaholic? With today’s stressful economy, more and more people are working harder than ever. But is it too much? 3 On Your Side Health Reporter Stephanie Stahl has more on a test you can take to see if work is becoming an unhealthy addiction.
Eda Kalkay had everything she needed to walk down the aisle, including her blackberry.
Eda is such a “workaholic” she worked on her wedding day, and then tried to tuck her smartphone into her dress.
“My wedding planner removed it. I’m glad he did, but I probably would have been more secure with it with me,” said Eda. She characterizes herself as an engaged workaholic.
It’s a new term for people who work long hours, not because they’re driven by unhealthy compulsion, but because they love their jobs and want to stay ahead.
“The economy today is really adding an entirely new level of pressure to the workforce,” said Eda.
To help you figure out if you’re a workaholic, researchers have developed a new work addiction scale.
Some of the questions include, how often do you hear others tell you to cut down on work, become stressed if you aren’t working, think of how you can free up more time to work, or spend less time enjoying leisure activities because of work? If you answered “often” to many of those questions, you could be a workaholic.
“It’s definitely a red flag for people,” said Elizabeth Lombardo, a psychologist. She says she’s seeing a lot more patients who are stressed about work and blames the economy.
“There’s this perception that if I lose my job I’m never going to get a job again. That makes people more of a workaholic,” said Lombardo.
And experts say being constantly in touch with smartphones is causing more people to become workaholics because they can’t fully escape work.
“I think it’s more like work-life integration because the two bleed into each other,” said Ron Ashkenas, an employment consultant.
Business owner Michael Monette is up before dawn each day, embracing the new norm of blending family and personal activities. He rejects the label workaholic, saying he’s a “lifeaholic.”
“I mean, is it work when you’re doing the things that provide a living for so many people, for your own family, their future,” asked Michael.
A number of studies say work addiction can cause insomnia and other health problems.
To take the Work Addiction Quiz visit http://ts-si.org/workplace/31557-the-bergen-work-addiction-scale