We're Addicted to Work

Presenteeism. It’s a thing. It’s even in dictionary.com:

[ prez-uh n-tee-iz-uh m ]


the practice of coming to work despite illness, injury, anxiety, etc., often resulting in reduced productivity.

the practice of working long hours at a job without the real need to do so.

We used to call them workaholics, but admitting an addiction can be the hardest part so instead we invent new words to describe what ails us.

The pressure to increase productivity in the modern work space is unrelenting, and with the person in the corner office averaging 62.5 hours a week, the average person is struggling to show equal dedication.

“Caring about work is a great thing, but being addicted to work is very detrimental. There’s a lot of clinical problems that happen with people who are addicted to work, including higher blood pressure, they become cynical, and have trouble starting projects,” points out Joshua Evans, founder and head of Culture Consulting Associates.

Blame it on the 24/7/365 connectivity that technology puts in the palm of your hand, and how that has become an omnipresent portal to work. It’s got some people asking if we’ve reached a point that vacations should become mandatory. Evans doesn’t agree, and says the problem is elsewhere. “If you make vacation mandatory all of a sudden it feels like an extension of your job. They’re telling me to do something else. There are organizations that make it difficult to ask for vacation. They need to make it easier to ask for time off.”

Presenteeism leads to burnout, and that’s not good for employer or employee.

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