The Addiction And Its Effects On The American Economy

1215 Words5 Pages
Workaholism, defined broadly as work addiction, still lacks a specific, widely accepted definition, even though it is becoming increasingly prevalent in the United States. As job insecurity has increased following the Great Recession and technology has allowed for employees to be constantly connected to the office (Shifron & Reysen, 2011; Foster, 2014), people often find themselves working more. Indeed, Americans are taking less time off than they have in the past (All Work, 2014) and 25-30% identify as workaholics (Robinson, 2001 as cited in Shifron & Reysen, 2011). There is still a debate over whether workaholism is a genuine addiction/disease, or just the set of associated behaviors, i.e. working excessively, thinking ceaselessly about…show more content…
Additionally, productivity seems to plateau after a certain amount of weekly working hours. One study found that increasing working hours to over 60 per week caused productivity to increase for three to four weeks, then decline sharply (Covert, 2014), while another found that productivity declined after 49 hours per week, regardless of the weeks worked (Pencavel, 2014 as cited in C.W., 2014). By studying data from World War I munitions workers, the latter study provided a direct, concrete measure of productivity, while the former focused on more modern, white collar work, suggesting that decreases in productivity with increased work hours can be observed across a broad spectrum of career fields. In addition, Ng, Sorenson, & Feldman (2007) reported that although working longer hours led to greater job performance in the short term, it took a toll on performance in the long term because of the decline in employee health. In addition to excessively long work hours, a lack of vacation time negatively affects productivity. However, American workers often do not or cannot take a vacation. The United States is the only advanced nation that does not guarantee paid vacation, while European countries allow for 20 to 30 paid days off annually (Covert, 2014; Olen, 2014). Even with these
Open Document