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2012 "Workaholics" Olympics: Who Will Win the Gold in Your Office?

Updated on July 29, 2012
ChrisMcDade8 profile image

Christine McDade is a Human Resources professional (PHR & SHRM-CP) with over 18 years in the public sector.

Let the Games Begin!

As viewers all over this great wide world watch the Summer Olympic Games being held in London, England, I am reminded of the champions of the workplace who work tirelessly to see the company succeed. You know these individuals. Employees who stay after hours to get that project done. The ones working diligently in the evenings and weekends to be prepared for that big presentation on Monday morning. They miss their child's ballgame or dance recital to give their all to the "cause" of work. These folks go above and beyond to make sure the work product is solid, and the results are going to be spectacular for the company.

A Win at all Costs?

What happened to summer? Summertime calls employees to take a break to be with kids and/or to travel to see friends and family who also may be on a break from school or work. Summer is a time for sunshine, cookouts and baseball. (All things that may elude that Office Workaholic who is dedicated to reaching their professional goal at all costs). But ask yourself, is it really worth it?

Employees who give such effort and time to the job may be taking precious attention away from their families and friends. While the demands of the job are often hard to control and overcome, to put all of your energy and attention toward your job instead of those who really give a "you know what" about you is ludicrous. While you might feel that you are needed in the office to work on wooing that big client for the big bonus, it is important to take care of yourself to avoid some kind of burnout or overload by not giving yourself some "down" time. Priorities need to be examined from time to time for that long term personal satisfaction we all crave. As the saying goes, you cannot get those time back.

You Can Still Win That Gold Medal!

Thank goodness there are people like me (a little humor for you) to remind you from time to time that while work puts food on the table, the love you get from your children and family is forever, beyond a paycheck. As much as possible, try to give yourself a break this summer. You will be a real gold medal winner with the family. Take the time you have on the books to vacation with your family for some precious R&R. Leave your IPad, smart phone, laptop, etc., tucked away soundly to stay truly disconnected from the workplace. For most of us, the work will still be there when we return. After some time away from the daily grind of the office, you will return refreshed, focused and ready to get the job done. You will be a better employee for the company as you have a renewed outlook on the demands that lie ahead. You can still reach that objective and win that gold by just giving yourself a time to recharge. Mentally, you will become stronger as you give your mind a chance to focus on other matters. You may also find that you set a good example for those around you to follow. Aiming for the gold does not mean everything else needs to be sacrificed.

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    • ChrisMcDade8 profile image
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      Christine McDade 5 years ago from Southwest Florida

      Thanks for the comments. In this difficult economy, there are many demands placed on American workers who find they are having to do more as organizations have tightened up on their staffing levels, and failed to fill the vacancies when employees leave. In many situations, we are just thankful to still have our jobs. I hope employers don't forget the efforts of their employees who hang in there and get the job done.

      Great quote! Thanks again.

    • vbernsd profile image

      vbernsd 5 years ago from Stockton, CA

      I So Agree - Especially in wheel-to-the-grindstone America we need to remember that we are family members first and workers second. Chris is right. Life is soooo short people, get out and appreciate every minute with your family.

      However, I know that I am one of the lucky ones that CAN actually do this. Many are stuck in jobs that don't offer much in the way of vacation or time off, and have no choice but to labor on in order to make ends meet. But the point of the article is well made none the less.

      A few months before he died, Harry Chapin said in a TV news clip "....we don't know if there is a before-life or if there's an after-life. All we know is that we have this little sliver of time on earth that we should cherish and appreciate each and every day".........I never forgot those words of wisdom.