Most people will agree that being a workaholic is a bad thing. The word itself, adapted from “alcoholic,” implies a compulsive behavior that could eventually kill you. It has even been referred to as an addiction by some researchers, albeit one that’s socially acceptable — even rewarded — in American business.
We think of the workaholic as someone hunched in a cramped office in rumpled clothing, sweating over a hot computer while the hours crawl by and everyone else has gone home. Or someone obsessively on email and the phone while they’re supposed to be relaxing on vacation. We say they are “working themselves to death.” But are they, actually?