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Resisting a Workaholic Design Culture

| 5 min read

We love what we do. That’s a healthy way to live and manage your life. If you enjoy your work it’s likely to cause less stress and stimulate your interest more. That’s a recipe for health and success. But… there’s a point when loving what you do gets out of control. That’s when genuine joy in your work is replaced by an addiction. The addict then spend 12, 16, or even more hours immersed in work. They no longer prioritize friends and family and while they may project success in work; in their larger lives success seems much more elusive.

In many cases workaholics do this to themselves. There’s a certain kind of person who is only too happy to prioritize work over everything else. Those people need help but today we want to look at another type of workaholic – one who has been turned into a workaholic by their corporate culture instead.

Toxic Work Environments

Author/Copyright holder: Gonzalo G. Useta. Copyright terms and licence: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

If you want to know the best thing about working at IxDF it’s that we don’t have a traditional management structure. Every single person chooses where they work from, the kind of work that they do and the hours that they devote to that work. Yes, we’re all a little obsessive about our work but it doesn’t mean that we’re tied to our machines or even that we’re encouraged to be tied to our machines 24 hours a day either.

Many companies do just that to their workers. They have bosses who demand their staff are in the office before them and don’t go home until after they’ve left. Where each and every person is encouraged to “be the best” at the expense of their team mates and colleagues. They’re told “the health of the company requires you to work more than ever before”. If they have the temerity to enquire about overtime they’re informed; “You’re on a salary! We don’t pay salaried employees overtime! We put in the time because we love what we do!”

What Do You Do About This?

I’m not going to pretend it’s easy to resist a management culture like this but it can be done. It requires a certain amount of courage and, in truth, an acknowledgement that if the company doesn’t change the culture – there’s going to be a time when we change the company we work for.

Author/Copyright holder: Peiyu Liu. Copyright terms and licence: CC BY-NC 2.0

You can resist a workaholic culture by sticking to your agreed hours. Yes, you might want to make it through your probationary period on your contract before you become adamant about this but after that – go right ahead and do it.

Explain calmly and carefully to your manager that you do your best work when rested and when your life balances with your workload. Show that you’re not opting out because you’re selfish but because you are a team player.

Learn to reject requests to add more to your workload than you can handle. The best way to do this is to say; “Sure! I’d love to work on that project but I am a bit pushed for time now. Let me show you my current projects. If you can let me know which one to drop; I’d be happy to take this on.”

Take your vacations, take your weekends, go home and sleep after spending time with friends and family. The truth is that these things are all more important than maintaining a toxic work environment. No-one has ever been buried with a headstone that reads; “I wish I’d spent more time at the office.”

Header Image: Author/Copyright holder: Term Life Insurance. Copyright terms and licence: All rights reserved. Img Source

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