Over the last 12 months, there’s been a large amount of conversation around the term and act of “quiet quitting”, a process in which employees purely do their job, dedicated hours and no longer are willing to go above and beyond for their employer.
Ultimately, that is what they are paid to do, and the fact that this has become “a thing”, is perhaps more down to the burnout many employees have suffered and that work addiction is rife.
It’s an incredibly unhealthy place to be, and many industries are guilty of people becoming addicted to their work, and as a result living unhealthy lifestyles to cope with the high levels of work activity, both during contracted hours and outside of those.
But should employers be doing more to help prevent work addiction, particularly during a period where more and more people are struggling with their mental health.
It comes as no coincidence that over a similar period of time the rise in the likes of alcohol addiction and drug addiction in the workplace has also increased, with people putting so much effort and time into their work that they are jeopardising their health significantly, as well as relationships and other aspects of life outside the workplace.
Addiction to work often results in a number of unhealthy traits, with employees often driven by fear and in a constant state of anxiety, thinking about their work schedule, what they’ve got to do, and what they may or may not have done wrong morning, noon and night. Which is not healthy, and also not likely to get the best out of employees when they are at work.
Despite “quiet quitting” being the buzz word of 2022, work addiction is still a problem, particularly among those with high-demand jobs, but what should employers be doing to try and help their workers?
Employers can’t diagnose this, nor can they diagnose the likes of alcohol and drug addiction that often are a knock on effect of drug addiction, but they can encourage employees to get help, and many are now partnering with private rehab centre services in order to give their workforce the help they need to have a comfortable work-life balance, as free from stress as possible and not reliant upon substances to get through the day.
Many are also putting regulations in place, such as not being able to email or contact colleagues outside of working hours, as well as creating periods of time inside the working day for downtime, or dedicated hours for meetings and calls.
Ultimately, it’s all about the attitude and culture of the business though, and that starts from the top. Creating a stress free and supportive environment is paramount to that. Do that, with various rules and regulations in place to support it and that will filter down into the workforce and ensure that work addiction becomes a thing of the past.