Work Addiction and Hustle Culture: Toxic Behaviour to Avoid

October 26, 20212:22 pm2040 views
Work Addiction and Hustle Culture: Toxic Behaviour to Avoid
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Hustle culture has been becoming a buzz in the last few years. It is a cultural norm in which people are demanded to give extra effort in their job, sometimes involving working too hard. The fact that this norm is considered as ‘how work is supposed to be done’ makes people vulnerable to fall into work addiction. Meanwhile, those who fail to follow the trend are considered ‘lazy’. It is good to work hard, but working too hard beyond one’s physical and mental capacity is definitely a toxic behavior to avoid.

Work Addiction at a Glance

Overemphasis on work and production has visible consequences. An increasing number of people are in danger of developing a work addiction, also known as workaholism, which is becoming a growing public health concern in many countries. Like other addictions, workaholism is associated with a number of major mental and physical health issues, including depression, anxiety, insomnia, and chronic fatigue. As a benchmark, it is found that in the US alone, 5–10% of the population meets the criteria for a job addiction. While the number is not yet known for other countries, it is obvious that working long hours derail one’s mental condition.

Symptoms of Work Addiction

Workaholism is a psychological problem in which someone works seven or more hours per week more than others.  The distinction is that workaholics are overly committed to their jobs when their employers do not demand or expect as much time as the employee is spending. Financial hardship, marital issues, and employer or supervisor pressure might all be causes for working longer hours than usual, according to the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

To anticipate this from happening, here are some common symptoms of work addiction leaders should pay attention to:

  • Working lengthy hours even when they are not actually needed
  • Sleep deprivation in order to complete job assignments or activities
  • Obsession with professional success
  • Workplace anxiety caused by a strong fear of failing
  • Avoidance towards personal relationships or using work to avoid personal relationships
  • Using work to escape from dealing with emotional burden such as divorce, death of a loved one, or financial problems

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What Does Job Level Have to Do with Job Addiction?

The Job Demand-Control-Support (JDCS) model illustrates the amount to which the risk of workaholism is connected with the perception of work, including job demands and job control, and mental health in four job categories.

  • Passive (low job control, low job demand)
  • Low-strain (high job control, low job demand)
  • Active (high job demands, high job control)
  • Tense or Job Strain (high job demands, low job control)

The researcher gathered information from 187 of 1580 French employees who consented to take part in a cross-sectional study utilizing the online platform WittyFit software. Four questionnaires were self-administered to participants: the Karasek Job Content Questionnaire, the Work Addiction Risk Test, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, and socio-demographics. The researchers separated all participants into occupational quadrants to evaluate the association between work addiction risk and mental and physical wellbeing.

The findings showed that people with high demands are the most prone to work addiction risk. People in active and tense job categories are more prone to develop work addiction than those in other job categories. They appeared to be more prone to the negative consequences of work addiction risk, such as depression, anxiety, sleep disturbances, and other health issues such as a reduced immune system and greater risk of illness.

What to Do about Work Addiction?

Although the result showed that high-level employees are more prone to work addiction, it should be noted that this condition can happen to everyone regardless of their job position. The first thing to stop this from getting worse and affecting your overall well-being is to acknowledge that working too much is not equal to productivity. Living the hustle culture should always be taken with a grain of salt, meaning that you always need moderation. Your professional life is not supposed to get in the way of your personal life. You need to also be open to what your workmates have to say about your work-life balance. If they ever get to the point of telling you seem to have been working too hard, maybe it is time for you to actually reflect; are you working to live, or are you living to work?

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