Workaholics who log on to complete tasks outside office hours are at risk of becoming addicted to the web, according to a new a new study.
Hardworking employees who take work home with them are at risk of depression, anxiety and isolation because of web addiction, and are likely to suffer withdrawal symptoms when they switch off from the internet.
The study, by Dr Cristina Quinones-Garcia of Northampton Business School and Professor Nada Korac-Kakabadse of Henley Business School, examined the internet usage of 516 18 to 65-year-olds, both employed and unemployed.
More than 60% of participants said they use the internet compulsively. The study found that, rather than the unemployed who spent more time online, it was those who worked excessively that showed addiction to the internet.
Those who feel overloaded at work may also be using the internet compulsively in their free time as a coping mechanism.
Professor Korac-Kakabadse said employees who take work home with them “spend increasing amounts of time online, waking up three times in the night to check their emails, eating patterns become irregular, relationships suffer and they become totally absorbed and feel anxious when separated from the computer. For overachievers it is worse and they are more likely to burn-out more quickly. They begin to lose judgement and make mistakes.”