Today, the pandemic doesn’t surprise anyone, but just a year ago, this topic was accompanied by dramatic headlines like “our new reality,” “unpredictable change,” and “uncertainty.” Life goes on; now is the time to take stock and gradually mend our faults.
I previously wrote about workaholism and subjective success, so in this article, I want to recap. Working overtime, decreased motivation, Zoom calls in bed, and wearing blazers with pajama pants — how has all this affected workaholism in our society?
To begin with:
We all worked like hell.
And I don’t simply mean working overtime, phone calls after work hours, and no regular days off. It’s also working jobs that fail to provide people with what they work for: stability, adequate pay, and fair working conditions. The worldwide crisis made workers helpless: having lost control of the situation, they strove with all their might to regain it. Such severe uncertainty made us work harder and take fewer days off to feel more in control. This is an ideal environment for workaholism and burnout to flourish.
Workaholics are having a more difficult time than ever before.
Due to the inability to work from home and forced layoffs, many people lost their jobs during the pandemic. These restrictions forcibly took away the desire to work and led to the destruction of individual labor values. The pandemic hindered workaholics’ need to express themselves through hard work and high labor achievements. This means that workaholics must now exert far more effort to preserve their self-esteem and feel “normal.”
Last but not least:
The people who care about others have suffered the most.
According to a recent study, Asian countries have suffered significantly more than other nations from the effects of workaholism as a symptom of the pandemic. Both the European individualistic culture and the Asian collectivist culture worship labor as the highest value. However, in Asian cultures, work is of such importance that their achievements are linked not only to their individual well-being but also to the well-being of the community to which they belong (family, organization, society). As a result, during the pandemic, workaholics in Asia were aware that their activities jeopardized not only their personal well-being but also the entire community’s well-being. For whom work for the benefit of others is considered a fundamental value, the pandemic provoked a sense of existential threat.
What can we do about it?
Workaholism is a prominent issue that civilization faces. In my opinion, the first and most crucial step is to spread information so that employers start paying attention and work towards minimizing the implications of workaholism. Share knowledge about workaholism with your coworkers — you never know who may need it.
In one of my previous articles, I outlined 6 myths about workaholism; have a read through it to get to know our enemy. Share your thoughts in the comments: how has the pandemic changed your attitude towards work?
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