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Episode 16: Working Long Hours or Workaholic?

Summary

In this episode, Peta Sigley unpacks the difference between working long hours and being a workaholic. Prior to COVID-19, there was a need to look at the cultural norms that caused employees to work far more hours than their role required. In fact, it was not uncommon to hear of staff in certain industries doing an extra three hours from home. This timely discussion on the impact of COVID-19 on our workloads is highly valuable for leaders and staff to support each other throughout the pandemic.

The pandemic has caused professionals to change the way they work by either working remotely or adopting a hybrid way of working. Research has found that this has caused many professionals to inadvertently increase their work hours. Whilst it is possible to work extra hours to maintain a healthy level of success and enjoyment at work, it is important to be able to identify some of the factors which contribute to workaholism.

A workaholic may experience a compulsive need to work because they believe there is no other way to meet the expectations of clients and coworkers. Therefore they constantly ruminate about work and have a real difficulty in psychologically detaching themselves when they are at home. They may feel guilty, anxious or restless about not working as well as display an element of obsession about their work. Workaholics have reported symptoms such as sleep difficulties, emotional fatigue, poor impulse control, high levels of cynicism and depressive symptoms. It is critical to establish conversations around self-care and connection in order to support staff as they adjust to the new way of working.

There is huge value in defining acceptable working hours not only from a health and well-being perspective but also to promote a sustainable level of high performance. Listen to this episode to learn more about how leaders and staff can re-establish goals and priorities in 2021. This will enable an organisation to better support their teams as they work throughout and beyond COVID-19.

Featuring: Peta Sigley

Host: Simon Cook

Production: Claire Taylor

Music: Josh Jones

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