Given the state of the economy, it’s tempting to advise people to work harder and really focus on keeping their jobs. But too much effort at the office can be counterproductive.
We are now in a work smart economy where the focus is on doing more
with less. Those seemingly stand-out individuals putting-in long hours
may be viewed as less efficient than their more balance-conscience
The challenge in managing workaholics is that they are often blind to
the negative aspects of their behavior. Workaholics often lose sight of
why they are even working and can pull their team members into their
world if you aren’t careful.
To prevent the long hours are always better attitude to overtaking the office, managers need to take action:
Don’t be peer-pressured into becoming a workaholic. Avoid
allowing yourself and your team to get baited into the workaholic’s
schedule. It’s important not to punish your more productive and balanced
team members with added timelines and burdens purely created by a
wayward workaholic. Ultimately, when you let the team workaholic set the
pace you lose control of your own schedule and any hope of keeping your
family obligations this holiday season.
Help prioritize their activities. When managing a workaholic,
managers must set clear priorities for the tasks at hand. Workaholics
are driven to overdo it, so keep the employee focused on a limited set
of priorities with defined tasks.
Set clear boundaries. Workaholics tend to have few boundaries,
which can be problematic when working on a team. They are the ones who
will e-mail you at 2a.m. looking for feedback on something. Once you
have agreed on a set of priorities, set clear boundaries around
appropriate communication times and be sure to enforce them.
Encourage extracurricular activities. Talk about the fun you
had over the weekend, but also point out how non-office experiences
enhanced your creativity on the job. The best way to subtly nudge a
workaholic into expanding his or her activities is to tie outside
activities to work in some way. If workaholics can see how being healthy
or spending some time traveling may help them at work, they may take a
stab at it.
Don’t enable. Workaholism can be an addiction, and the last
thing you want to do is enable a workaholic by legitimizing the belief
that he or she is overloaded. Workaholics often overload themselves.
Avoid offering to pick-up extra work or chip-in on a weekend, because
it won’t matter--the workaholic will find something else to fill the
void. The best thing you can do is show them what they are missing in
the world around them.
Remember, effort doesn’t always equal results. Workers need to find
that sweet spot that allows them to maximize productivity while also
maximizing personal time. Be sure to find some balance this holiday
season and don’t fall prey to the workholics in your office.