Why Being a Workaholic
Has Its Perils
Up to a million people are workaholics, averaging 60 hours a week, but their "addiction" to work often hits their productivity and personal lives, research shows.
Managers, craft and professional workers are most likely to put in extra hours, blaming heavy workloads or "sheer love of the job".
But 75% of people working over 48 hours a week admitted they had made mistakes because of tiredness and only a minority believed workaholics are more productive.
A third of people working long hours conceded that relationships with a spouse or partner had been strained, while one in eight said they had broken up with their partner because of the amount of time they spent at work.
The Institute of Personnel and Development said its survey of 8,000 people across the UK showed that one in three people working over 48 hours claimed to be addicted to their job.
A similar proportion said they spent a lot of time solving problems caused by inefficiency in their organisation.
"While it is undoubtedly true that many people are straining under heavy workloads, the results suggest there is still scope for organisations and individuals to find ways of working smarter rather than harder," said the report's author Melissa Compton-Edwards.
She added that the findings showed long-hours workers were not all "downtrodden drudges", but enthusiasts who worked long hours out of choice.
But she warned: "While there is nothing wrong with having a passion for work, regularly burning the midnight oil could result in accidents or costly mistakes being made."
Roger Lyons, general secretary of the Manufacturing, Science and Finance union said: "The fact that large numbers choose to work long hours despite the detrimental effects on their family lives and health, only strengthens the need for regulation of working hours."