Internet Addiction and Long Hours Working

Peter Thomson's picture

The Telegraph have just published an aticle basd on a research project studying Internet addiction. (see http://bit.ly/1goh9KD). The report shows that individuals who report a high level of compulsive use of the Internet were found to be at a high risk of suffering from isolation, depression and anxiety. However, the report also points out that these are high achievers who are naturally 'workaholics' and inclined to put in long hours anyway.

This reinforces our view that leaders and managers should be concerned about the long hours culture and be measuring results not the amount of effort being put in. The Internet, and associated technologies, can be used to invade people's privacy and set expectations that they are available 24/7. It can also liberate people to have a better balance between home and work life. How it is used is therefore a key reflection of corporate culture.

The technologies that allow people to work anywhere/anytime are key to giving people more autonomy over their working lives. In a future work environment they give people the freedom to choose when and where they get the job done. However there will be some people who get so invovled in work that the become addicited and eventually burn out. It's important for managers to reconise that this happens and not just sit back and reap the short term rewards form the workaholics. Organisations have a social responsibility not to create unhealthy work environments and need to ensure their leadership sets a good example.

 

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