Entrepreneurs and Executives Can Be Healthy Workaholics
How to avoid karoshi: Death from overwork
Hard working entrepreneurs and executives often get labeled as workaholics, usually by the people closest to them. Good news: New research indicates that workaholism for some people is actually healthy. What a relief! Researchers in this study evaluated two groups of employees, both of which worked many extra hours.
Researchers labeled one group the workaholics. Employees in this group worked long hours but were disengaged and disliked their work. Researchers labeled the other group the long-hours group. Its members also worked long hours but were engaged and enjoyed their work (this sounds like most of the entrepreneurs I work with)!
Researchers evaluated 763 employees using biomarkers that indicate health risks such as high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol levels.
The good news: The long-hours group had decreased health risks. The bad news, the workaholic group increased health risks. Additionally, the workaholic group experienced a reduction in subjective wellbeing (e.g., depressive feelings and sleep problems). The long-hours group did not.
In Japanese culture, people traditionally worked extra hours and were often expected to do so. However, they’re now being more conscious of the potential detrimental effects of the extra hours and have created the word karoshi, which means “death from overwork.” This seems to apply to the true workaholic, not the long-hours group.
Think about your situation.
Do you work long hours? Are you happy doing so, or are you disengaged and not enjoying working so many hours? It’s an important question to answer.