Distinguishing Workaholism and Work Engagement through Work–Life Conflict

Research output: Contribution to conferenceOtherpeer-review


Workaholism and work engagement are described respectively as addiction to work and passion for work, leading to significantly different outcomes in employees’ life. Nevertheless, since they seem to share some features, a useful distinction could be reached by focusing on work–life balance levels of workaholics and engaged workers.The study was carried out by assessing levels of workaholism, work engagement and work–life conflict (work-to-life and life-to-work conflict) of 212 subjects, who completed a questionnaire. Data were analyzed through correlational strategy and structural equation modeling method.As hypothesized, workaholism and work–life conflict showed a positive relationship, while work engagement and work–life conflict were negatively related. In particular, workaholism showed a stronger positive correlation with work-to-life conflict, whereas work engagement showed a stronger negative correlation with life-to-work conflict. Workaholism and engagement were weakly positively related.Workaholics and engaged workers have different levels of balance among their life spheres. The “reversed symmetry” observed in the relations with the two directions of conflicts interestingly suggests new questions about the distinct way these two types of hard workers perceive interferences deriving from job and from personal life demands.Work–life balance practices in organizations can help to prevent negative impact of compulsive investment in and to maintain a healthy relation between job and personal life domains. Managers should be careful about the real nature of hard working of their coworkers and support a balanced working style.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages0
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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