Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

How to best manage workaholics: New study offers insight

Date:
May 21, 2013
Source:
Florida State University
Summary:
Workaholics tend to live in extremes, with great job satisfaction and creativity on the one hand and high levels of frustration and exhaustion on the other hand. Now, a new study offers managers practical ways to help these employees stay healthy and effective on the job.

Workaholics tend to live in extremes, with great job satisfaction and creativity on the one hand and high levels of frustration and exhaustion on the other hand. Now, a new Florida State University study offers managers practical ways to help these employees stay healthy and effective on the job.

Wayne Hochwarter, the Jim Moran Professor of Business Administration in Florida State's College of Business, and research associate Daniel Herrera studied more than 400 employees in professional and administrative occupations and found about 60 percent of these workers identified themselves as workaholics who characteristically "feel guilty when taking time off."

These self-identified workaholics reported positive and negative career consequences. For example, workaholics reported they gave more effort compared to other workers, but they also experienced more tension. They were more willing to help others, yet were more likely to view co-workers as feeling entitled.

"We found that there is an optimal level of workaholism for job effectiveness and positive health," Hochwarter said. "However, when in excessively low or high ranges, both the company and the employee are likely to suffer."

Identified workaholics were divided into those who had access to resources, such as personnel, rest, equipment and social support at work, and those who did not.

"We discovered that workaholics really struggle when they feel that they are alone or swimming upstream without a paddle," Hochwarter said.

Workaholics who said they had access to resources reported a:

  • 40 percent higher rate of job satisfaction
  • 33 percent lower rate of burnout
  • 30 percent higher rate of perceived job importance
  • 30 percent lower rate of exclusion from others
  • 25 percent higher rate of career fulfillment
  • 20 percent lower rate of work frustration.

"Given the volatility in today's work environment, the ability to work hard, contribute long hours and demonstrate value is at a premium," Herrera said. "Thus, workaholism will likely remain alive and well for years to come."

But there are ways to guide the efforts of workaholics in positive directions, researchers said.

First, leaders should meet with workaholics to determine what physical and social resources they need and then help increase their accessibility to those resources in fair and reasonable ways, according to the researchers. Managers often assume that workaholics simply want others to get out of their way. In reality, the goal of most workaholics is to contribute to the company, achieve personal success and see how their efforts affect the bottom line -- objectives that are much more likely achieved with resources.

Second, managers need to have more realistic expectations, they said. Workaholics are often the company's most productive employees -- serving as the manager's "go-to" worker when an important project surfaces or a deadline looms. Because of their value, managers have a tendency to run workaholics into the ground, promising a future chance to recharge that often never happens.

"Having realistic expectations that take into account both the work and the person doing the work, is essential," Hochwarter said. The warning signs of burnout are recognizable and, if ignored, they will eventually lead to unwanted outcomes ranging from declining performance to death.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Florida State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Florida State University. "How to best manage workaholics: New study offers insight." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 May 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130521105101.htm>.
Florida State University. (2013, May 21). How to best manage workaholics: New study offers insight. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130521105101.htm
Florida State University. "How to best manage workaholics: New study offers insight." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130521105101.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Science & Society News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

Reuters - US Online Video (July 31, 2014) The Republican-led House of Representatives votes to sue President Obama, accusing him of overstepping his executive authority in making changes to the Affordable Care Act. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

AP (July 31, 2014) With Florida's panther population rebounding, some ranchers complain the protected predators are once again killing their calves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

AP (July 30, 2014) British officials said on Wednesday that driverless cars will be tested on roads in as many as three cities in a trial program set to begin in January. Officials said the tests will last up to three years. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins