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Workaholic in the home office – recognize signs and consciously relax

Workaholic im Homeoffice – Anzeichen erkennen und bewusst entspannen

While their colleagues are looking forward to the end of the day, workaholics would prefer to spend the night at their desk. At the weekend they are eagerly revising a presentation, completing the latest concept and when it comes to the topic of work-life balance, they ask themselves the question: “What's the point? ? Work is my life!”

Of course, workaholics already existed before working from home became the new normal during the Corona pandemic. However, the threshold for constant availability and overtime is significantly lower when working from home because private and professional life are increasingly merging. Studies show that only every second person manages to consistently separate the two areas when working from home. The remaining colleagues tend to work even when they actually have free time.

Do you often catch yourself thinking whether you might become a workaholic while working from home? We have put together the first signs for you and looked for tips that will help you switch off and relax better in the evening.

How do you know if you're becoming a workaholic?

Without work, without me – workaholics are people who put all their focus on work and neglect other important areas of their life. The workaholic lifestyle can be recognized by the following signals.

Workaholics can no longer switch off.

Workaholics constantly think about the job even after work, check their emails before going to bed and even with friends they only know one topic: the job. Never being able to completely switch off is one of the clearest signs of work addiction. Even on weekends or on vacation, workaholics find it increasingly difficult to simply leave work behind and relax.

Health comes second to workaholics.

Workaholics consciously accept an irregular sleep rhythm, a lack of exercise and a poor diet in order to be able to devote their full attention to work. Long-term stress in particular can lead to serious long-term health problems such as burnout. Workaholics are aware of these risks but ignore them for the benefit of their work.

Workaholics neglect friends and family.

Just a quick email when the kids are watching their favorite show, a look at the latest project status while they're on the phone with their mom and they postpone dinner with friends again because it's just getting later again at work. Workaholics isolate themselves from their social environment and prefer to devote their time to work. Friendships and families often break up due to a lack of attention, which makes workaholics increasingly lonely.

Delegate tasks? Never.

“It takes too long to explain this to someone.”, “If I do the task myself, it will go much faster.” Do you know sentences like these? Workaholics find it particularly difficult to delegate tasks and hand over responsibility to colleagues. Instead, they prefer to do everything themselves, even if that means working overtime or even working a night shift.

Workaholics put themselves under constant pressure to perform.

Isn't that even better? Is everything perfect now? Isn't the finishing touch still missing here? Workaholics constantly ask themselves these questions and place extremely high demands on their work results. They tend to have a strong perfectionism that they often cannot live up to, and their colleagues certainly cannot. This regularly leads to dissatisfaction with oneself and to tensions and disagreements in dealing with colleagues.

What can you specifically do to switch off and relax better?

Relaxing and switching off – these two elements are essential for you to remain productive and healthy over the long term. It's a bit like professional athletes: They train according to strict training plans that include both intensive training sessions and conscious breaks for regeneration. If athletes forego relaxation and breaks, they would not be able to maintain their performance in the long term and would even harm themselves. These professional athletes wouldn't get on the winner's podium anymore, right?

It's the same with performance at work - relaxation and breaks are important so that you can carry out your work at a consistently high quality. Would you like to treat yourself to some relaxation and are wondering how best to say goodbye in the evening? We have put together some ideas for you.

Tip 1: Develop an after-work ritual.

Just drop your pencil and head off for the day? Let's face it - this is pretty difficult for workaholics. Just like an engine needs some time to cool down after a long car ride, workaholics also need a transition period to switch from work to after-work mode. We recommend that you develop a special end-of-work ritual that signals to you: It is time to finish work for the day.

Tip 2: Set offline times.

The smartphone rings, the inbox flashes and the next message pops up in the chat. Always online, always available, no breaks. It can be particularly helpful for workaholics to consciously introduce offline times - ideally after work. Apps like “Offtime” are suitable helpers for this because they can be used to automatically block incoming calls, emails and app notifications for a set time. You may even be able to turn off your electronic devices completely during your offline time.

Tip 3: Use light as part of your relaxation routine.

Modern biodynamic lights adapt their light to the course of the day and can therefore contribute to conscious relaxation as the end of the day approaches - without you as the user having to actively think about it. In the evening hours, a biorhythmic workplace lamp shines in warm light with a lot of red, signaling to your body that it is time for rest and relaxation.

Tip 4: Consciously look for alternatives.

Have you always wanted to learn a foreign language, take a cooking class or try out a new sport? Then put your plan into action now and use your new job to escape work. It can be helpful to involve friends and family and rekindle social contacts. It's best to choose an activity that is significantly different from working on the computer and that takes your mind off other things.

Photo by Marcos Paulo Prado on Unsplash

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