Fear of Work (Ergophobia): Origin, Characteristics, Consequences, Treatments

Fear of work is widespread in people, especially between 20-and 35; this disorder is clinically known as ergophobia. The result is apprehension, especially in the morning, to go to work. This fear is often related to people who do not have a profession or have learned a trade; they feel unable to perform the tasks assigned in their workspace.

Characteristics of fear of work

  • The fear of work is characterized by:
  • Apprehension and inability to find a job;
  • Anxiety-related to hierarchical pressure;
  • Fear of being late;
  • Fear of making a mistake;
  • The anticipation of the workload;
  • Fear of superiors or colleagues;
  • The fear of not being up to the task;
  • Boredom.

Fear that works is an anxiety disorder; it is characterized by all the symptoms of the field of anxiety. These may include:

  • Disorders of sleep and appetite, panic attacks, irritability, and even depression.
  • It can appear at any time of the day, either bedtime in the form of rumination, in the morning in a ball in the stomach, or directly at the workplace.
  • It is widespread.
  • The result is apprehension, especially in the morning, to go to work.
  • Difficulties arise either from a lack of knowledge in the work area or a hostile environment.
  • It is usual for people to fear work throughout their lives.

You can also read: Fear of Water: Definition, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

Consequences of the fear of working in health

  • Like all phobias, fear of work can have short- and long-term health consequences.
  • It can cause panic attacks and severe anxiety, sleep disorders with chronic fatigue and exhaustion, and depression.
  • This, in turn, can lead to suicidal thoughts, health problems, such as chronic stomach pain or psychosomatic disorders, financial problems, and relationship problems with colleagues or friends.

Reactions to adopt

  • It’s not about ignoring fear but about moving forward without letting yourself be paralyzed.
  • This stress can turn into something useful and a warning sign of an inappropriate situation.
  • It can be a problem of career guidance, place in the company, or lack of self-confidence.
  • Once this fear has been identified, it is important to look it in the face and think about precisely what may have led to it.
  • Psychological help may be necessary in some instances to take a step back on oneself and the situation.


  • Several things can help combat the fear of work:
  • I work on anxiety through relaxation time such as sophrology, meditation, yoga, or even hypnosis;
  • They work in stages until their final goal.
  • Self-discipline or positive psychology techniques can help to understand the goal progressively;
  • Increase self-confidence;
  • Make the necessary changes in all areas of life;
  • Talk about it with those around you, your colleagues, or your hierarchy.

Georgia Tarrant
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Hello, how are you? My name is Georgia Tarrant, and I am a clinical psychologist. In everyday life, professional obligations seem to predominate over our personal life. It's as if work takes up more and more of the time we'd love to devote to our love life, our family, or even a moment of leisure.