Magazine article USA TODAY

Workaholics Can Be Happy and Productive

Magazine article USA TODAY

Workaholics Can Be Happy and Productive

Article excerpt

Workaholics often have a reputation as people whose obsession with work frequently is harmful to themselves and possibly even bad for their companies, indicates Marcia Miceli, professor of management and human resources, Ohio State University, Columbus. Yet, there may be "good" workaholics -- people who work a lot because they enjoy their jobs, have strong career identities, and show a desire for upward mobility. Workaholics usually can be identified by three Major attributes:

* They give up important family, social, and recreational activities because of their jobs.

* They work beyond what is reasonably expected to meet their job requirements or economic needs.

* They frequently and persistently think of work, even when they're not actually doing it.

"But along with these similarities, the research [I and my colleagues] reviewed seemed to suggest there are different reasons why people are workaholics," Miceli notes. As a result, she and her colleagues classified workaholics into compulsive-dependent, perfectionist, and achievement-oriented.

Compulsive-dependent workaholics recognize that their work is excessive, but are unable to reduce or control it. They feel anxious and upset when they aren't working. They may end up with higher levels of stress and more health complaints than other employees. They probably have lower levels of job performance (at least relative to the time devoted to work) than non-workaholic employees do. …

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