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Are you addicted to work? New survey claims to know the answer

You clock long hours at the office, bring home projects, even miss family functions once in a while because you can't get away. Are you a workaholic or just giving your all?

There's a new research tool that purports to help people tell the difference.

The Bergen Work Addiction Scale is a questionnaire that tackles workaholism as an addiction and asks subjects to identify particular weaknesses, according to Connie K. Ho of RedOrbit.com.

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Researcher Cecilie Schou Andreassen, from Norway's University of Bergen, developed the scale. She says she hopes the tool might help mitigate some of the negative effects of workaholism, which she believes are on the rise.

"A number of studies show that work addiction has been associated with insomnia, health problems, burnout and stress as well as creating conflict between work and family life," she said in a statement. "By testing themselves with the scale, people can find out their degree of work addiction: non-addicted, mildly addicted or workaholic."

Data used to create the scale was gleaned from 12,135 Norwegian employees from 25 different industries, reports RedOrbit.

Participants would mark how they felt (never, rarely, sometimes, often or always) on criteria including spending more time at work than initially anticipated and feeling stressed if not allowed to work.

Saying "often" or "always" to at least four of the provided questions signified that the person was a "workaholic," reports RedOrbit.

The questions:

  • You think of how you can free up more time to work.
  • You spend much more time working than initially intended.
  • You work in order to reduce feelings of guilt, anxiety, helplessness and depression.
  • You have been told by others to cut down on work without listening to them.
  • You become stressed if you are prohibited from working.
  • You deprioritise hobbies, leisure activities, and exercise because of your work.
  • You work so much that it has negatively influenced your health.

How do you score? Do you have a colleague who might need to take a look at this during your Monday morning meeting?

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About the Author

Tralee Pearce has been a reporter at The Globe and Mail since 1999, starting as a writer in the paper’s Style section. She joined the new Life section for its launch in 2007. She covers parenting and family issues for the daily section. More

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