Working too much and nothing much else, these are the mundane people you see walking around everyday with bags under their eyes and a phone stuck on their ear, creating their own form of zombie. They are workaholics, which is now actually defined as a condition.
Working at ones job excessively can cause conflict as well as friction at the expense of one’s health and relationships. If left untreated, it can potentially lead towards burnout, depression and ultimately illness.
A workaholic is simply unable to disengage themselves from their work, regardless if they’re contributing or if they’re needed or not.
So when it comes to the digital world, when the switch is always “ON” 24/7, the trend towards working too much goes into overdrive and it’s on an upward trend.
The lines become narrow and blurred as our work becomes more encroached with our private leisure lives.
So are you considered a workaholic, if you check Twitter every few minutes while you’re standing in line for coffee?
Definition Of A Workaholic
What may be more of an indicator of a workaholic, is looking at the context of what you’re doing right now.
It might begin simple, such as answering an email from your client on Sunday morning, because, well, they happen to be in a different time zone from where you live. That’s what you rationalize.
But all you’re doing is mixing that delicate work and play balance.
Before you know it, you’re reading all of your work related emails on the weekend or late at night.
The “work” cycle then progressively begins to lengthen, while your relaxation periods get shorter.
What’s found because of the increasingly available mobile access, and the growing need for email and text message communication, is it’s becoming a habit.
The research results, where the majority of the subjects were IT based professionals, discovered some other interesting findings.
There are those who find it necessary to always be connected online, and to their work, even if it means interrupting dinners or daily activities to check their devices.
Those who are constantly in the habit of working, are the ones who seek out places that offer Wi-Fi connectivity, for instance.
Workaholics On The Uptrend
If you’ve ever clenched your fist in anger and cursed at the sky as you have your mobile device stapled to your ear, and all you’re searching for is a clear reception, you know the feeling.
Getting crystal clear connectivity wherever you are, has now become a vital lifeline. But then, what’s the real panic.
Why is it so difficult to disengage ourselves from the online digital world.
Is it really our work that we’re so concerned about, or is there some underlying fear that we will miss something. Even if we disconnect just for a few minutes, we go into panic mode.
The majority who were surveyed admitted that they all check their work email after work hours, usually using their smartphones.
While the number dropped during weekends or on their days off, the majority of users now continue to take their work home with them and wherever they go.
Just over a decade ago, this was completely impossible, as the only way to access email was at work during business hours.
Over 50% percent of those surveyed took some type of work-related device with them when they go on vacation.
A similar number admitted they will routinely drive 10 miles out of their way to get online access.
What this demonstrates is that in order to stay competitive, in this tough global economy we currently live in, it now requires constant productivity.
What it indicates, is that the global online economy is now completely addicted to multi-tasking anytime and anywhere.
Growing Online Epidemic
There is a growing indication how attached people are becoming to their mobile devices, specifically smartphones and tablets.
Every respondent indicated they are now exclusively using their personal mobile devices, for business purposes.
So is this digital reliance now becoming an addiction. What it’s doing is informing us of what our true behaviors are.
The good news however, is that we’re beginning to get smarter when it comes to appropriate or inappropriate behavior when it comes to using our mobile devices.
Take texting when you’re driving for instance.
Stricter laws now prohibit using mobile devices, as texting while driving has significantly increased accident rates, and as a result, the awareness is making an impact.
What’s known is there’s still a certain percentage, who admitted that they still text or talk while driving, which now sounds much like drinking and driving.
Some Other Findings Regarding Online Usage
Having and enjoying dinner with friends and family should represent quality time, but online users still find out who contacted them during meals.
There were over 56% percent who admitted that they at one time or another sent out an email while having a meal.
If you’ve ever been enjoying dinner and then someone obviously checks their mobile, you know how annoying and how alienated it can make you feel.
Those who like to multi-task on their mobile devices while they’re out shopping is increasing, as over 75% percent admitted that they either emailed or texted while standing in the grocery line, or while using the mall bathroom.
So obviously, the trend is that most users are now unable to miss even a single minute of connectivity.
The Limits Of Staying Connected
There are however some things that still remains sacred, as the number of users who email or text during a romantic moment has actually decreased.
That’s one multitasking activity which definitely hasn’t gone seriously awry!
So you have to realize how closely connected you are to your smartphone. How would you react or handle yourself if you happen to lose it or left it at home for just one day?