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Build Your Career Work-Life Balance

Are You in Danger of Becoming a Workaholic?

Are You in Danger of Becoming a Workaholic? Credit: Workaholic image via Shutterstock

Do you find yourself putting in long hours to polish already-flawless projects and presentations? Do you obsess over tiny details and refuse to stop working until everything is exactly right? While doing this might earn you favor from the boss, that level of perfectionism could indicate that you're on your way to becoming a workaholic.

Dr. Joachim Stoeber, head of the psychology school at the University of Kent, led a team exploring the under-researched reasons for excessive and compulsive working. The group's research suggests that highly motivated perfectionists are more likely to be workaholics.

Stoeber and his team looked at two types of perfectionism: self-oriented, in which individuals set exceedingly high standards for themselves, and socially prescribed, in which individuals feel pressure to meet the high standards of others in order to gain acceptance. Of these two types, self-oriented perfectionists showed significantly higher levels of workaholism. Internal and external drivers like self-control and rewards motivate these workaholics. Socially prescribed perfectionists, on the other hand, were not likely to become workaholics.

[Are You a Workaholic?]

"Our findings suggest that workaholism in self-oriented perfectionists is driven by those types of motivations [that are] characterized by personal importance and ego involvement, as well as being motivated by internal rewards and punishment," Stoeber said.

Workaholics, by nature, can be extremely productive employees, but they need to be wary of the toll working too hard can take on their mental and physical health. Based on this research, if you experience a lot of self-induced pressure to meet certain goals and standards, go a little easier on yourself before you become a full-blown workaholic.

This research was based on questionnaire responses from 131 employees and appeared in the journal Personality and Individual Differences.

Originally published on BusinessNewsDaily.

Nicole Fallon
Nicole Fallon

Nicole Fallon received her Bachelor's degree in Media, Culture and Communication from New York University. She began freelancing for Business News Daily in 2010 and joined the team as a staff writer three years later. She currently serves as the assistant editor. Reach her by email, or follow her on Twitter.

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