Identifying a Work Addiction in Your Employees

Woman suffering from work addiction

Most employers are hopeful for employees that are hard working, have a strong work ethic and are dedicated and committed to their job duties.

Hard work rewarded

In the workforce, employees who exhibit these traits are often rewarded, whether with promotions, salary raises, or job responsibilities that are more conducive to their proven abilities.

As an employer, finding dedicated employees who can help support the mission and purpose of your company are crucial for overall success.

However, what if your employees exhibit signs or symptoms of a work addiction?

It can be easy to overlook the signs of a work addiction in an employee, particularly when the employee is contributing to the success of the organization and business.

Employee’s health

Keeping an employee’s health in mind is crucial, especially to the long-term longevity of the individual but their potential to the company as well. Be aware of the signs and symptoms of a work addiction to identify if this may be an issue that one of your employees may be struggling with.

An individual who is dealing with a work addiction will likely exhibit the character trait of perfectionism, in which they hold unrealistic standards for themselves and their co-workers.

People who are addicted to their work may also struggle with low self-esteem and use achievement in their work environment to find approval and/or build an identity.

If you have an employee who is addicted to their work, you may find that they are preoccupied with their duties, even to the point of obsession.

If you suspect that one of your employees may be struggling with a work addiction, consider sitting down with them to have a heartfelt discussion.


Sometimes just asking the right questions can help you employee open up about something they may be struggling.

Be aware that some individuals dealing with a work addiction may often be in denial about the reality of their situation and perhaps become defensive when questioned about their work habits.

Approaching these types of delicate situations with sensitivity and care can be helpful.

Consider sharing some resources that may be helpful to your employee as well. If your company offers wellness services, you may want to connect them to an outpatient therapist or counselor who can better help them through recovery.

Crystal Karges photo

About the Author: Crystal is a Masters-level Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) with a specialty focus in eating disorders, maternal/child health and wellness, and intuitive eating. Combining clinical experience with a love of social media and writing, Crystal serves as the Special Projects Coordinator for Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope, where her passion to help others find recovery and healing is integrated into each part of her work.

As a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, Crystal has dedicated her career to helping others establish a healthy relationship with food and body through her work with EDH/AH and nutrition private practice.

The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of addictions. These are not necessarily the views of Addiction Hope, but an effort to offer discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.

We at Addiction Hope understand that addictions result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. If you or a loved one are suffering from an addiction, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.

Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on January 19, 2016
Published on

About Baxter Ekern

Baxter Ekern is the Vice President of Ekern Enterprises, Inc. He contributed and helped write a major portion of Addiction Hope and is responsible for the operations of the website.