A recent initiative to introduce a 4-day work week is not Russian know-how at all.
Back in 2015, the International Labor Organization called on the world's employers to do the same. According to European experts, this is the only way to save humanity from workaholism and emotional burnout at work, which will inevitably cause thousands of early deaths.
Biologist Vladimir Kataev claims that the number of victims of this addiction is not inferior to either alcoholism or smoking. “I have already missed about a dozen of my former classmates: five of my peers died of a heart attack, another paralyzed, the third died suddenly in the workplace, made a strange diagnosis:“ sudden death syndrome, ”and four died of oncology. But I know that this is workaholism. I am only 38 years old, and I go to the funeral almost every month, ”one of the psychologists quotes the words of his client, who is very afraid to catch this infection.
Rostovite Vadim K. was buried a week after he celebrated his 36th birthday. A talented computer programmer and programmer, he could mess with his pieces of iron for days. The wife and mother were only happy – they didn’t drink, didn’t walk, they made good money in a very prestigious bank. What is bad?
The first alarm bell rang after the birth of a son. The wife’s persuasion to help with the child was useless – already at 6 am the man ran to work, and returned after midnight. After the wife’s next request not to go to the office at least on weekends, Vadim raised his hand for the first time.
Any conversation that he works too much caused a storm of irritation. The young guy still had headaches and pressure surges. When relatives understood that something was wrong here, it was too late. One day they called home from her husband's work and said that he was taken away by an ambulance. There was a stroke. Doctors did not have time to help.
This case will never go into statistics under the designation "workaholism and emotional burnout." In our country, there is no such officially recognized disease, although psychologists and doctors are increasingly talking about it.
It is generally accepted that workaholism is a problem in Asian countries, where for this reason up to 100 thousand people die per year. But Russia, where the people suffer more from laziness, does not threaten such an attack. But statistics say that 82% of Russians prefer not to take sick leave, but to come to work unhealthy. Someone needs money, someone is afraid of losing their jobs. But how many among them are those who simply cannot work without work? And this craving is not quite healthy.
BURN AT WORK
The first, initial stage of the disease usually goes unnoticed. A person lingers at work, thinks about it at his leisure, personal life fades into the background. A workaholic voluntarily takes on more and more responsibilities.
“When I work a lot, my whole life goes by the wayside. And troubles in his personal life, problems with a sick mother, no thoughts about a bleak past and uncertainty in the future, ”says a patient at one of the private rehabilitation centers.
Alcoholics and drug addicts are here, and psychologists say that workaholism develops on the same principles as chemical addiction. Accordingly, it is treated in approximately the same way.
What is the difference between a workaholic and a hardworking person? The hardworking person has a goal in front of him, the result of his work is important to him, for him, professional activity is only part of his life. He wants to make money or implement a prestigious project, so he is ready to work tirelessly.
For the workaholic, the opposite is true: the result does not make sense. “Typically, managers are delighted with the employee – he works so hard! But then it turns out that the return on such activities is very small. Behind the hustle and bustle is often just an attempt to solve their emotional problems, or rather, to hide from them in the labor process, ”says Alexander Kryuchkov, MD.
Such people come to see him at the moment when the exhausted body malfunctions. “First, these are sleep disturbances, headaches, then neurological disorders. Doctors usually treat these symptoms, but they don’t see the cause. As a result, the risk of fatal cardiovascular disease, ”the doctor continues.
The second stage is critical when work becomes passion. Personal life is completely subordinate to work, and the patient finds many excuses for this. Diseases continue to develop. Often they say about these with pride: burned out at work. “In fact, we are talking about a disease – both psychological and physical. But only in our country so far few understand this, ”Dr. Kryuchkov laments.
WHAT TO DO AND HOW TO FIGHT WITH THIS?
Doctors say that diagnosing workaholism is not easy. How and in what units to measure human fatigue? Japanese scientists have only recently begun working on this. For example, one of the optics companies developed glasses that can determine the degree of owner’s fatigue.
Will the transition to a 4-day work week solve the problem, as proposed by the International Labor Organization? Doctors say that is unlikely.
“An additional day off will only add stress to the addicted person. He perceives any rest and a break in work with panic, because the usual way of life and the way of maintaining emotional balance are violated. On vacation, workaholics become restless, agitated and irritable characters – this is a kind of withdrawal syndrome. They are waiting for the moment when they can return to the office again, ”says biologist Vladimir Kataev.
According to experts, in our country it is necessary to raise this problem. “We need to increase the level of education of doctors, especially district therapists, who are often consulted by workaholics and who still do not know much about this addiction,” says Dr. Kryuchkov. And then, maybe, people will understand that the posthumous epitaph “burned out at work” is no longer able to decorate anyone’s biography.