Revealed: the test that tells if you are a workaholic

Matthew Holehouse

While one group may simply be seeking to impress the boss, the other could be risking their mental and physical health, as well as their relationships, the study found.

The 'Bergen Work Addiction Scale' looks at the kind of behaviour that is displayed by all kinds of addicts, from drug users to alcoholics, but related to the workplace. Those who, for instance, free up time to fit in extra work or feel guilty if they don't stay late on a regular basis may be full blown workaholics.

Test subjects are asked to rank themselves in seven categories to see whether they are "driven to work excessively and compulsively" - the definition of an addict. These are salience, tolerance, withdrawal, conflict, relapse and problems.

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The scale was designed by psychologists from Norway's University of Bergen and from Nottingham Trent University.

Work addiction is getting worse, they believe, because the boundaries between home and office are becoming blurred.

Being in constant touch through mobile phones and laptops and tabled computers means it is harder to 'switch off' and easier to work from home. Employees of globalised companies are under pressure to stay in constant touch with colleagues in different time zones.

The test, sampled on 12,000 workers from 25 industries, was published in the Journal of Psychology.

Take the test

Look at each of the following statements and rank yourself on each one according to the following:
1 = Never; 2 = Rarely; 3 = Sometimes; 4 = Often and 5 = Always.

1. You think of how you can free up more time to work.

2. You spend much more time working than initially intended.

3. You work in order to reduce feelings of guilt, anxiety, helplessness and depression.

4. You have been told by others to cut down on work without listening to them.

5. You become stressed if you are prohibited from working.

6. You deprioritize hobbies, leisure activities, and exercise because of your work.

7. You work so much that it has negatively influenced your health.

If you score 'often (4)' or 'always (5)' on four or more of these seven statements, it 'may suggest you are a workaholic.'

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