The Perils of Having a Workaholic Legal Support Employee

Some employees seem to live, eat, breathe and sleep their jobs. And while their dedication and productivity can seem like a benefit at first, a workaholic legal support professional can end up doing your team and your organization more harm than good.

Here’s why you need legal support staff who respect their own work-life balance:

Workaholic employees perform worse than their well-balanced counterparts.

A 2006 study found that, on average, workers who don’t use their vacation time are less productive than workers who do. Those who left their vacation hours on the table also scored lower on their annual performance reviews than their co-workers. Vacation isn’t merely for fun; it’s an essential break from work that allows for increased productivity and quality the rest of the year.

“Mini-breaks” are essential, too.

Putting your “nose to the grindstone” is essential for some tasks—but research on effective work methods shows employees who never look up from the grindstone are wasting time and lowering the quality of their work. Time to relax and daydream improves problem-solving skills and leads to greater productivity.

Working through lunch harms both mental and physical health.

Employees who get up and leave their desks during lunch are taking that “brain break” that is essential to a productive and focused afternoon. They may also be improving their physical health—even if the lunch they eat outside the office is just as unhealthy as the one they’d eat at their desks. A UK study found that being overweight and obesity were directly correlated with eating lunch while working.

Workaholics may be destabilizing their home lives, too.

Although psychologists have studied “workaholism” since the 1970s, there is no clear consensus as to whether overwork is a distinct mental disorder. However, researchers do agree it shares certain characteristics with other types of addiction, such as a compulsion to engage in a behavior—here, working—even when its harmful effects are apparent. Multiple studies have found that workaholics are more likely to face home strife and even get divorced, all of which can take a massive toll on their focus while at work.

At Kent Legal, our recruiters specialize in connecting our clients with outstanding legal support talent in the greater Toronto area. To find better candidates, contact us today.

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