Overworking is contagious, according to Melody Wilding, an executive coach and author.Having a workaholic as a colleague can make employees feel like it is impossible to keep up.Here are three tips for working with a workaholic colleague without becoming one yourself.LoadingSomething is loading.Thanks for signing up!Access your favorite topics in a personalized feed while you’re on the go. download the appWorkaholics have the uncanny ability to seem as if they are always on.Whether they are responding to messages in seconds, tearing through to-do lists, or working from their vacations, the workaholic is the colleague who just never seems to rest. Working with someone like this can make people around them feel like it’s impossible to keep up.A wave of layoffs and the threat of a looming recession has made some workers doubt their job security. This anxiety could be leading more workers to overwork, and the phenomenon is contagious, Melody Wilding, an executive coach and author, told Insider. “Other people’s behavior is contagious,” said Wilding. “So overworking affects everyone.”However, it’s also important to distinguish a co-worker who is a hard-working top performer from a workaholic. According to Wilding, the workaholic is not someone who is working hard for the enjoyment of the work or for results, but “someone who is addicted to work and can’t detach themselves.”If faced with a coworker like this, Wilding says there are a few things employees can do to protect themselves.Don’t take it personallyIt’s important to depersonalize and rationalize a workaholic’s behavior, Wilding said. While it’s easy to think the workaholic is purposely trying to show you up, this is unlikely to be the case, she said.”You don’t know what’s motivating them,” she said. “It could be fear, it could be something in their personal life, or because they face bias or discrimination and they feel like they have to work harder and devote themselves more.”Wilding said trying to understand the reasons for a person’s behavior can help employees have more empathy and not be upset by a coworker’s behavior.Don’t try to mimic their behaviorTrying to outwork the workaholic is not productive, Wilding said. Working more doesn’t always lead to better work, the workaholic can sometimes slow things down, she added.”Overworking can create a lot more work for everyone else that’s unnecessary,” she said. “Work may have to be redone because the workaholic is not focused on results, efficiency, and performance. They’re just so attached that they can’t let go.”Setting boundaries with these coworkers is also important. Wilding suggested telling a workaholic when and how often you plan to check your email and being extra clear about working hours.”Setting these expectations is really important with the workaholic because it’s about not feeling pressure to keep up,” she said. “Don’t cave to peer pressure just because this person is in every meeting.”Find out what’s important for youAttempting to keep up with a workaholic is a losing battle, Wilding said.”You need to run your own race,” she said. “You have to prioritize what’s both urgent and important for your success.”Wilding suggested seeking out what was important for individual employees and keeping up with the company’s needs and priorities, especially in difficult economic times.”Your efforts are much better spent trying to connect with your manager and trying to understand what success looks like for you,” she said. “The workaholic may not have a good read on that, they may just be doing work for work’s sake.””Do your own research and try to align with those needs,” Wilding added.