The word itself is a portmanteau word composed of work and alcoholic. Its first known appearance, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, came in
The term workaholic refers to various types of behavioral patterns, with each having its own valuation. For instance, workaholism is sometimes used by people wishing to express their devotion to one's career in positive terms. The "work" in question is usually associated with a paying job, but it may also refer to independent pursuits such as sports, music, art and science. However, the term is more often used to refer to a negative behavioral pattern that is popularly characterized by spending an excessive amount of time on working, an inner compulsion to work hard, and a neglect of family and other social relations.
Researchers have found that in many cases, incessant work-related activity continues even after impacting the subject's relationships and physical health. Causes of it are thought to be anxiety, low self-esteem and intimacy problems. Further, workaholics tend to have an inability to delegate work tasks to others and tend to obtain high scores on personality traits such as neuroticism, perfectionism and conscientiousness.
Clinical psychologist Professor Bryan E. Robinson identifies two axes for workaholics: work initiation and work completion. He associates the behavior of procrastination with both "Savoring Workaholics" (those with low work initiation/low work completion) and "Attention-Deficit Workaholics" (those with high work initiation and low work completion), in contrast to "Bulimic" and "Relentless" workaholics - both of whom have high work completion.
Workaholics feel the urge of being busy all the time, to the point that they often perform tasks that are not required or necessary for project completion. As a result, they tend to be inefficient workers, since they focus on being busy, instead of focusing on being productive. In addition, workaholics tend to be less effective than other workers because they have difficulty working as part of a team, trouble delegating or entrusting co-workers, or organizational problems due to taking on too much work at once. Further-more, workaholics often suffer sleep deprivation, which results in impaired brain and cognitive function