If you think about it, a majority of our weekly lives are spent working at the job. It can easily consume as many as eight hours a day, putting you in close (and constant) proximity with office mates and fellow employees. Sadly with America’s addiction level at 23.5 million, it is actually not that uncommon for those alongside you to suffer from some sort of dependency. So it makes sense that news outlets like USA Today are highlighting that fact and the clear warning signs that a co-worker may be addicted.
USA Today writer Charisse Jones outlined several signals to look out for if you suspect a coworker may be suffering from a dependency. The first red flag would be them Falling Asleep Consistently at Work. If a person in your cubicle always appears tired or spends their breaks napping in their car, that could be a reason to be concerned. Hardcore addictions can often cause people to lose sleep, impacting the way they perform and function at the workplace.
Another thing to look out for is Frequent Mistakes from an otherwise capable coworker. If you’re noticing a decline in their output or continuous errors in the reports or paperwork they hand it, keep paying attention. Dependencies often lead people to lose focus and not think clearly when assigned a task.
Jones pointed out Regular Bathroom Breaks as another major indicator. Though it may sound shocking, it is not uncommon for an addict to use in a workplace restroom. It could be a smuggled alcohol bottle, lines of cocaine or even injections behind a closed stall wall. Our recommendation would be to keep an eye out if a particular co-worker takes breaks more than three times in one hour.
Though it’s difficult to face, Office Theft is also a common trait of someone who’s addicted at the workplace. There is no denying that a dependency can lead to desperate measures. If you’re hooked on a particular substance, there is often a scramble to gather funds to pay for the next batch. And if that entails stealing valuables from an office or cash register, then you know you’ve got a serious problem.
One final warning sign is a Decline In Personal Hygiene. If someone you work alongside is starting to come in with messier clothes, unbrushed hair or a consistent five o’clock shadow, it may merit further investigation. You would be amazed at how fast an addiction can turn a clean, dapper executive into an unkempt, disorganized mess.