When is the myth that being a workaholic is a good thing going to die the death that it deserves?
As we all know, this idea that you should be working 24/7 is rife in academia, and with increasing competitiveness for increasingly scarce jobs, it is getting so bad that University's have started offering unpaid research positions (as Dr Piglet and JC have blogged about recently). University of lies reminiscence about advice for PhD students also draws attention to this myth of long-hours = productivity. Implicit in this argument too is the idea that without working long hours your career will fail.
Well guess what? That's an outright, baldfaced lie. A significant amount of workplace productivity studies demonstrate clear and decisive links to work-life balance and increased productivity emerging from worker less, not more. Not to mention the fact that studies in driving, flying, doctoring (the medical kind, not the research kind) and so on have demonstrated clear safety risks from working longer hours. In fact, just this evening on the local news there was a bulletin about how it has been established that working long hours is equivalent to drinking in terms of skills affected.
So, if you're a workaholic you're no better than being a drunk it seems.
AND: labour studies have always demonstrated clear links between long work hours and higher rates of stress-related illness, physical and mental, that obviously affect productivity. This lost productivity costs in the order of billions annually.
So you're not just drunk, but you're the worst kind of drunk, a maudlin drunk. If you're even at work in the first place.
Given all this research, and government, union and coporate rhetoric around worklife balance - why are we STILL subjected to the kind of machismo crap that working long hours is something to be proud of?
Do you want your colleagues to think you're a dull, whiny, drunk???
[Disclaimer: I am highly sympathetic to anyone struggling with mental health issues - a serious mental health issue created by overwork and overstress is no laughing matter]