Saturday, 22 June 2013

Chained to the Desk

When talk about addiction, what generally came to mind would be drugs, coffee and alcohol. It is an addiction when you have difficulty saying no to it. Instead, your mind is preoccupied with the thing or activity all the time.But seriously, can anyone be addicted to work? Of course, it is absolutely possible.
However, a work addict seldom gets condemned. In a way, it’s one addiction that is socially acceptable. For instance, you would be excused when you missed a family function because you need to work late…again. Tell them any other reason, you’ll get a lecture for sure.
The problem is since it’s socially acceptable, no one really cares about the danger of workaholic. It was said in Japan, “death by overwork” caused 1000 deaths per year, nearly 5% of that country’s stroke and heart attack deaths in employees under age 60.

I don’t think anyone wants to die prematurely due to work. But majority of us do not even know we are already an addict.Too much work like any addiction is bad for an individual. And having employees work long hours does not necessarily promise greater productivity for the company either. 

I still cannot resist telling my Australian friends that I started on a salary of RM1800 and had to work, for many years, on the graveyard shift in Malaysia. Although I feel they need to experience pain before pleasure and appreciate the value of hard work, it often does not come across like that from their perspective.

Currently, I am working as an Accountant in an Australian multinational that reminded me that no one is allowed to work beyond office hours unless a written request is submitted. It is not more than 12hours per day.Office hours were very strict. If you wanted to stay back after 5pm, you had to make a request in writing. No one ever does that because in the management’s eyes, anyone who had to stay back is either not doing his work well or plain inefficient.When my Australian’s mate asked me why I worked long hours and bring home my works, I laughed and simply said that I am so use to Malaysian work style.

But in Malaysia, we head to work before the sun rises and reach home after the sun sets. Surely, that cannot do any good to the quality of life index, no matter how much one is paid. Again to my fellow accountant in Malaysia who stuck at work between 8pm and 3am in lieu of month-end – who’ve had to forcibly forego dinner, quality time with their family and friends, a favorite TV show, just so those books are closed to perfection- That is our life and our curse. 
Note:- There is a difference between hard work and workaholic.

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