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Social resilience

Competitive climate and perfectionism contribute to the development of workaholism


 The Czech labour sector has a serious problem. It's called workaholism, and up to a quarter of Czechs with secondary and higher education are at increased risk of addiction. A combination of an unhealthy work environment and personality influences, especially perfectionism, play a key role in the development of addiction. In terms of work teams, a competitive climate based on rivalry and peer comparison, rather than an emphasis on personal development, contributes to the development of workaholism, says Kateřina Zábrodská of the SYRI National Institute.

"It is clear that certain types of work environments unhealthily foster work addiction. These are workplaces where very high work demands are placed on employees, where there is a competitive climate based on rivalry and peer comparison instead of an emphasis on personal development, and where workers perceive workaholic tendencies in their fellow workers as well," said Zábrodská of the SYRI National Institute.

However, the personality characteristics of a particular person also play a comparable role. "If we would like to describe the prototype of a work addict, then it is an individual who has unrealistically high demands on himself and others and who reacts to his difficulties with emotional instability and self-esteem with excessive and compulsive work," Zábrodská added.

Among other addictions, workaholism has a special status. High work performance and success are rewarded by society, and people addicted to work and their surroundings can feel that everything is fine.

"However, our results clearly show that work addiction is not associated with mental well-being and job satisfaction, but rather with a range of psychological difficulties. We found a significantly higher prevalence of both work stress and burnout and depression among respondents meeting the criteria for work dependence. In the long term, these conditions damage an individual's ability to perform well at work and their psychological resilience, and as a result, undermine the resilience of the entire team and organisation," Zábrodská said.

The survey of 31,000 people in 82 countries allows for a comparison of the situation in individual countries, but the Czech Republic does not stand out among them in terms of the level of threat of workaholism.



Doc. Kateřina Zábrodská Ph.D.

Position: Senior researcher
+420 221 403 909