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Workaholics vs work engagement: The difference is play

In a culture that places high value on "hard work," we often lionize the wrong kind of work. A new study from the Journal of Management explores the difference between "workaholics" and "work engagement" - the former has serious negative consequences for health and social relationships, just like any addiction, while the latter actually has overwhelmingly positive effects. And when people are healthier and happier, they're also more productive at work. Malissa Clark, PhD, one of the study's authors, was quoted in UGA Today:

We see that there are two very different constructs. One is feeling driven to work because of an internal compulsion, where there's guilt if you're not working—that's workaholism. The other feeling is wanting to work because you feel joy in work and that's why you go to work everyday, because you enjoy it. And I say that is work engagement.

Stanford alum Brendan Boyle, MS, knows how to enjoy work, and teaches his audience in this Stanford+Connects video. The secret is play.

Boyle, who teaches at the d.school (School of Design), is an expert on the interaction between play and design thinking. He asserts that the opposite of play is not work, but boredom. Play is not frivolity, but a certain set of behaviors that can be incorporated into a multitude of tasks, whether at work or at home. Play can be, in a sense, a way of interacting with the world.

Watch the video to learn more - it ends with laughter.

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