Aims of the study

The study is part of a large international research project examining the role of macro-level (i.e. cultural and socioeconomic), meso-level (i.e. organisational), and micro-level (i.e. individual) factors in work addiction and related health problems. The survey will be conducted during the winter of 2022 in over 50 countries around the world, including six continents. It is the most extensive study on work addiction conducted to date. 

Participation criteria are: being an adult and employed full-time for at least one year in an organisation with at least 10 employees. Immediately after filling out the survey, all participants will obtain detailed feedback on their psychosocial functioning at work, including risks of work addiction, work-related depression, and burnout, and potential organisational and individual risk factors contributing to their functioning at work. It may help identify personal and organisational strengths and weaknesses and improve job performance and well-being in and outside the work environment. Participants will be directed to a webpage where detailed information concerning the interpretation of their results will be available alongside recommendations on potential self-help and professional solutions.

The inclusion criteria for the survey are based on our research goals. 

One of our main goals is to investigate the so called meso-level factors contributing to work addiction. These are related to organisational variables such as organisational climate and culture. For this reason, in our survey we include participants employed in organisations categorized as at least medium-business, i.e., 10 and more employees. In order to assure that these factors had an effect on participants, we include participants who worked at least one year for the present employer, and who work full-time.

We are also investigating so-called macro-level factors contributing to work addiction. These are related to country-level variables. For this reason, in this survey we include participants who are citizens of a particular country and live in it. This way we want to assure that the factors associated with the country level variables had an effect on participants.

Impacts of the study

One of the aims of our research is to provide data on the proportion of the enormous costs of chronic stress in and outside work environments that are directly attributed to work addiction worldwide. Most importantly, we want to understand which factors contribute most to work addiction to develop best practices in its prevention and treatment. The results of this research can provide a scientific basis for preparing recommendations for governments concerning working conditions as well as influence organisations’ policies and procedures regarding work climate and organisational values to minimize the risk of development of work addiction and/or to mitigate its effect on health and well-being.

Moreover, this project will provide essential premises for the validity of conceptualising work addiction as a genuine behavioral addiction. As such, it can stimulate more studies necessary for its formal recognition as an addictive disorder in the official classifications of diseases and disorders, such as the International Classification of Diseases by the World Health Organisation. Such identification will have profound consequences on the social, institutional, and organisational perception, recognition, prevention, and treatment of compulsive overworking. As such, it may contribute to a significant reduction in human suffering worldwide and a notable improvement in productivity for organisations, institutions, and country-level economics.