The business style of our days is marked by urging the employees work as much as possible; it favors people's devotion to work, up to 25 hours a day, without any pause or distraction. This concerns both the upper echelons and the low-level personnel, and the chiefs often encourage their subordinates to work more by working round the clock themselves. The companies steal their employees' free time by organizing various corporate entertainment events (parties, dancing, camping, tourism etc.). Normally, people have to take part in such activities to demonstrate corporate solidarity, and this does not much resemble any fun; a passerby could think that all those people do some heavy work rather than enjoy themselves. Eventually, people lose the ability to rest, replacing relaxation with yet another duty; the permanent fuss can grow into perversion.
Since the very definition of the conscious subject demands universality, full devotion to work is a most dangerous tendency, leading to the complete destruction of the personality. People must relax sometimes, refusing to do anything at all, and not only switching occupations. This has nothing to do with wasting time; rather, this is a fundamental mechanism of personal development, and the development of subjectivity as such. When somebody cannot have passive rest, when one has to spend all the time struggling for life, career, money, new impressions or public recognition, one will rapidly degrade from a conscious being down to a kind of animal, or even some inanimate device.
Workaholism is a social disease, like smoking, alcoholism and drug dependence. It has much in common with other cases of the psychotic dependence on external stimulation, like hysteria or psychopathies. Such diseases are characterized by lack of the conscious control over one's motivation, and consequently, lack of self-respect and self-contentment, which has to be disguised by random actions. In a sense, this is the opposite of schizophrenia; and exactly because of that, it can easily transform into schizophrenia in the situations when, due to some social restrictions, one's eternal race to nowhere cannot go on.
Like all social diseases, workaholism is hard to cure. A therapist can remove one substitute action, to give way for another; any progress can only be temporary, with inevitable remission, as long as the social roots of the disease persist. In some cases, therapy can give the patients enough resolution to drastically change their life; but mere determination is not enough, and no real change is possible without a favorable social environment allowing for behavioral diversity. Thus, if finding a well-paid job to support one's family is not easy, one has to cling to anything already found, demonstrating loyalty, trying to "please" the management etc. Any sign of independence could be disastrous, and this completes the perfect situation for developing workaholism as a psychological defense.
Workaholism is closely related to the low level of contact orientation in one's transaction hierarchy, that is, the dominance of syncretism and formal communication, lack of synthetic transactions (intimacy). Those, who can always find somebody to care for, and to receive care from, are less apt to yield to workaholism. However, such intimacy is a rare phenomenon; it cannot be replaced by mere pastime in a company of aliens just sharing a common need to hide their crippled sociality.