Are You A Workaholic?

Posted on November 23, 2011 by TNS Consulting Team (via Scott Spayd)

There are employees that work the bare minimum and there are also employees that cannot seem to step away from work.  While it is not a crime to work extra hours, there can be negative consequences such as an increased amount of stress and decreased work-life balance. Researcher Fassel (1992) identified four different categories of employees that are putting forth a bit too much into his or her work.  Could you fall into one of the categories?

The first category is known as binge workers, who work excessively when necessary especially to finish a project.  These workers have intervals of working excessively followed by regular work hours.  Because there are “rest” periods in between binges of work, the employee may not experience significantly negative effects from this pattern of work.

Workaholics can also be called compulsive workers. Compulsive workers are continuously in overdrive.  This employee’s complete devotion is solely to work often ignoring responsibilities outside of work such as family.  This is the most dangerous category because the compulsive worker does not know when to stop.  Relationships suffer as a result of the compulsive working behaviors leaving the employee with very little support outside of work.

Closet workers are typically aware of his or her dysfunctional work style but continue regardless.  A closet worker works hard to cover up work behaviors.  This employee cannot put work related behaviors out of his or her mind.  No matter where this employee may be, he or she will sneak into corners to answer phone calls or emails. Unfortunately, this type of workaholic is becoming more popular as a result of the influx of emails and phone calls.  The idea of vacationing is quite foreign to a closet worker, as they will find time to act on work-related needs.

Finally, there is the category of work anorexics, who suffer from extreme procrastination.  This employee will put off completing work and will eventually feel guilt over not completing work in a timely manner.  However, the pattern continues and unfortunately the work anorexic does not learn to adapt behaviors to meet deadlines.

Unfortunately, many researchers believe that without a certain number of workaholics, organizations would not be successful.  There is always a need for compulsive workers, who are willing to go above and beyond to complete quality work.  Organizations certainly do not look down upon those that work extra hours.  However, employees must step back and consider the possible consequences of working addictions.  When it comes to work, it is best to for employees to act in ways that are best for them.


Fassel, D.  (1992).  Working ourselves to death. New York:  HarperCollins/Thorsons.

TNS Consulting Team (via Scott Spayd)

About TNS Consulting Team (via Scott Spayd)

Great companies know that it takes highly engaged employees to retain customers and make their brand promise come alive. To make the connection between your employees, customers and brand, you need a partner with deep expertise across several areas. Only KANTAR TNS has over two decades of employee survey experience, as well as access to the consultative and research resources of the world’s largest customer satisfaction benchmark database and brand analytics research. Whether you have 200 employees or 200,000, Kantar TNS has the expertise and the advanced measurement, reporting, and follow up tools you need to deliver on your employee and customer brand promise.

Be the first to leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *