Workaholism: A Social Problem of The Present

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Manoj Adhikari

ENG -122

Date: 12/05/2012

Workaholism: A Social Problem of The Present

Introduction

In the modern society, the problem of workaholism is quite acute. According to studies, most strongly this illness affects employees in Japan and the UK; this issue is relevant for the U.S.as well.

There have always been people who work more than others and could not imagine their life without work. However, with the commercialization of society, their number has increased dramatically. In the period of rapid development of new technologies and intense competition in almost all professional fields, there are more and more people who dedicate to work and career making a lot of time. First of all, these are motivated young people of 20-35 years old, with healthy ambitions focused on quick promotion and their income increase. Of course, higher wages and a rapid career rise add some charm to the labor madness - information overload, overtime work, around the clock communication with customers and partners, living in different parts of the world, etc. But does the goal justify the means?

Currently workaholism is recognized as mental illness that is not less dangerous than the addiction to drugs or alcohol. Numerous facts and figures indicate that workaholism can lead to a serious illness and even death.

Workaholism is manifested in the perception of work as the only (or most significant) means of fulfillment, achievement of recognition, and as means of obtaining subjective satisfaction in life. For a workaholic, work comes first in his/her life, leaving behind all the other aspects such as personal life, family, entertainment, and social activities, and can lead to the complete social exclusion. Thus, it is a mental disorder that requires treatment and a social problem that requires a solution. In this study, we will try to give a description of workaholism as a psychological problem, consider this phenomenon in terms of the popular medicine, carry out the analysis of its causes, and attempt to formulate recommendations to overcome workaholism as a social issue.

The U.S. firmly holds the palm of the countries of workaholics. 12.7% of Americans work more than 60 hours a week. More than half of U.S. employees said that they planned to fulfill their duties partially while on vacation (MIGnews.com). Thus, 52% of respondents said they would work during a legal holiday - a 6% increase in the last year. In particular, workers surveyed are going to deal with the following:

1. View e-mail - 30%

2. Receive calls from colleagues - 23%

3. Copy working papers to the personal computer - 19%

4. Receive messages at work - 18%

5. Have a remote access to an office computer - 13%

6. Return to work at the request of the chief, colleagues or customers - 13%.

Men are reported to be greater workaholics than women: 56% vs. 47% respectively. In the US, there is no law requiring employers to provide a paid leave to the employee, and the average American is resting a lot less than the Europeans. A question of a “well-deserved” rest was put to employers who specified the amount of the desired paid “time off” in the contract. However, their number is not impressive and, as a rule, does not exceed 13 days per year.

Those who just got a job and worked only one year may get a leave lasting 5-6 days, 2 years - 9-10 days, 3-4 years - 14 days, starting from five years - 15-17 days. A paid leave of 21 days can be expected by workers who worked 15 years or more. Approximately 13 percent of U.S. companies do not pay for holidays to the staff and employees take time off at their own expense. Employees of federal agencies are entitled to 13 days’ holiday. Officials with three years work experience can apply for 20 days, and after 15 years of hard work, there are already 26 days of the compensatory time off. Therefore, with such...
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