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National Workaholics Day is on July 5, and it’s meant to remind us to find a good balance between our home and work life. In general, workaholics tend to put work before almost everything else. This includes family, friends, and even their own health for the sake of work performance and their quest for perfectionism. As a result, multiple areas of their lives are affected negatively. Their love life can fall apart and they can become lethargic if they don’t properly take care of themselves. On National Workaholics Day, we are reminded to make sure to care for ourselves outside of work as well!
History of National Workaholics Day
Work ethic has changed many times over the centuries. During the sixteenth century, Puritans redefined work as an obligation that benefited everyone in society and the idea of “good works” was formed. They viewed diligent work as a sign of grace, while Catholics saw work as a requirement and a manifestation of the faith they received. This tethering of faith and work would remain throughout the centuries as the world evolved.
When Puritans settled in the New World, they brought their work ethic along with them. They escaped religious persecution and created the idea of the Colonial American Dream, built on the idea that good works brought prosperity. They built a society in the New England area based on the beliefs of ambition, hard work, and the constant pursuit of success, and believed that by living this way, their workmanship on Earth would be rewarded in heaven.
German sociologist Max Weber defined this concept in his book “The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism,” published in 1905. Labor ideology had a radical shift during this time, as the Industrial Revolution mechanized labor. The small-scale workshops faded away as the industrialization of the manufacturing process increased mass consumption. This was less faith-based as the individual workmanship of the person was removed in favor of the machine.
The 1950s brought about another change in labor dynamics. Young workers were eager to rise through the company, follow the rules, and please their bosses. Fortune magazine referred to this as the “grey flannel mentality” for their risk-aversed approach. In 1968, comedian Roger Dangerfield came up with the word “workaholics” when he described his father and his relationship with alcohol to cope with the burdens of work. Today, many people still have an unhealthy work-life, and National Workaholics Day is used to remedy that.
National Workaholics Day timeline
Puritans redefined work as an obligation that benefited everyone in society and called it "good works".
Puritans settled in New England and created the ideals of the American dream based on their belief that hard work brought prosperity in heaven.
Max Weber's book "The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism” is published which merges work and godliness, and the Industrial Revolution mechanizes the workforce.
Roger Dangerfield coins the term “workaholics” to describe his father’s unhealthy relationship with work, and decades later a day is devoted to helping those who suffer from it.
National Workaholics Day FAQs
What is national simplicity day?
National Simplicity Day is observed every year on July 12 to honour the life, work and philosophies of poet, author and leading transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau. Born on July 12, 1817, Thoreau was an advocate of living a simple life and wrote a number of books around the subject.
Can working too much make you sick?
Working long hours can make employees sick and increases the odds of depression and heart attacks.
Are workaholics mentally ill?
New research suggests people who let their jobs consume their lives may have ADHD, OCD, anxiety, or depression. There’s a fine balance between working to live and living to work. For many people, work is more than just something we do to pay our bills.
How To Celebrate National Workaholics Day
Take the day off
It might seem like it’s out of the blue to take a day off for seemingly no reason, but that’s the point. Society has conditioned many of us to relate our self-worth to our work, and while it’s noble, we shouldn’t sacrifice our health in the process.
Extend your Independence Day
With this holiday landing right after July 4, why not extend your holiday? While you enjoy your leftover barbecue, use this day to relax and research about the history of labor. Choose your favorite era and see how the people of that time approached work.
The Office Binge-a-thon
“The Office” is one of the funniest binge-worthy workplace comedies ever made. While you’re at home taking a well-deserved break from it all, watch your favorite season of the series and thank your lucky stars that your working environment isn’t as out of control as the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company.
5 Interesting Facts About National Workaholics Day
Monday is the most common sick day.
Most common job
Retail salesperson is the most common job in North America.
Workaholics imitates life
The cast of the TV series “Workaholics” lived in the party house where their characters lived.
The first resume
Leonardo Da Vinci is credited for writing the first resume.
Sick of it
Calling out sick is the most common reason for calling out of work.
Why National Workaholics Day Is Important
Don’t overwork yourself
It can be easy to forget that taking time for yourself is important as well. Too often, people assume that taking a break from their work is a sign of laziness, but the time away replenishes your energy which makes you a better worker.
Pay attention to the signs of stress
Having a strong work ethic is normally seen as a positive trait, but that also means that people are less inclined to pay attention to issues caused by work. Anxiety, high stress, and sleep deprivation can all be caused by working too much. National Workaholics Day permits you to pay attention to the signs you might have missed.
Your social life is just as important
Your social life is just as important as your work life. We give so much of our energy to our workdays, that it can impact the energy we could be using towards our friends and family. At the end of it all, you’ll want to look back and appreciate the time you spent with those who truly love you.
National Workaholics Day dates