Are you a workaholic? Take the test

Caretaker of an exotic islandEddie Safarik / Tourism Queensla/PA Archive/Press Association Images

There's a thin line between being passionate about work and being a workaholic. Anyone who feels bereft without their Blackberry, finds themselves on speaking terms with the cleaners at work and couldn't pick their partner out in a line-up has clearly strayed a little too far over that line. But what abut you?

Researchers have devised a test, so are you a workaholic?

The test

The Bergen Work Addiction Scale has been put together by psychologist Dr Cecilie Andreassen of the University of Bergen, along with researchers from Nottingham Trent University.

It asks seven questions, for which you have to score yourself on the following scale: (1) Never, (2) Rarely, (3) Sometimes, (4) Often, and (5) Always:

1. You think of how you can free up more time to work.
2. You spend much more time working than initially intended.
3. You work in order to reduce feelings of guilt, anxiety, helplessness and depression.
4. You have been told by others to cut down on work without listening to them.
5. You become stressed if you are prohibited from working.
6. You deprioritise hobbies, leisure activities, and exercise because of your work.
7. You work so much that it has negatively influenced your health.

If you score 4 or 5 on 4 or more of these statements, then you are a workaholic. This definition comes from the fact you're exhibiting the signs of addiction: namely salience, mood modification, tolerance, withdrawal, conflict, relapse and problems.

The toll

Andreassen says that if you are a workaholic, studies show you may suffer from a range of symptoms, such as insomnia, health problems, burnout and stress. It also creates conflict between work and family life.

She adds that it's increasingly common and that: "In the wake of globalisation, new technology and blurred boundaries between work and private life, we are witnessing an increase in work addiction."

This tallies with findings from the UK government's happiness index, which we reported last month. It fund that 48% of us are unhappy with the balance between work and life, and that it's affecting our well-being. And it's increasingly likely in an era where we may feel driven to work by a sense of insecurity, or by the pressures of the current environment.

Of course, your level of work addiction, and the effect on your life may depend on the job you do. As we reported earlier, some jobs are worse for your health than others. After-all, would it be such a bad thing to be addicted to your job as the 'caretaker' of an exotic island (pictured) or a professional surfer?

So are you a workaholic, and does it worry you? Let us know in the comments.

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