A desire to stand out from the crowd

A desire to stand out from the crowd

PETALING JAYA - A workaholic constantly thinks about work, feels guilty about taking days off and has the need to do all the work himself, says a psychologist.

“A hardworking person is someone who can be emotionally present at work and then be also available to his or her family and friends.

“Workaholics, on the other hand, are addicted to the adrenaline they receive whilst trying to over-achieve goals or beat deadlines,” said neuro-psychologist Dr Nivashinie Mohan.

She said the need to be “better than the rest” and to stand out from the crowd is part of the Asian work culture.

“Asian work ethics often dictate that an employee should not leave the office before their bosses, or that going home at 5pm means you do not have enough work.”

While workaholics could perform many tasks at once and do them all well, she said, their drive for excellence could lead to an internal chaos, causing them to try and control everything and everyone around them.

Workaholics, she said, were usually afraid to delegate the workload, thinking that “no one can do it better than me”.

“The stress caused by too much work can lead to depression, anxiety, panic attacks and sleep disturbances,” she said.

The outcome of Expedia’s 2012 Vacation Deprivation Survey was a hot topic on The Star Online’s Facebook page.

Some offered their explanation as to why Malaysians do not seem to be taking their annual leave, which may not be an indication that they were workaholics.

For example, Anne Jan, said Malaysians had too many public holidays and replacement holidays, making it difficult to use up their annual leave.

However, some felt they had no choice but to slog for long hours.

“There are people who work around the clock to keep up with living costs, not for the love of what they do,” said Jason Brown.


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