If you are an employer, you might wonder how divorce may affect your employee’s work performance. Maybe you noticed that some of your employees are having a hard time during their divorce, and their work is suffering. Or perhaps you are an employee and your divorce is affecting your work performance. Why could this be? It’s interesting to see what various studies have said about the topic.
If you would like to know more, keep reading.
Many people suffer emotionally during a divorce. People might be late for work, or even miss work for court cases. Employees might not be able to focus on the task at hand. Work production could also start to suffer, due to the above factors.
Why is this? This could be because divorce is an exceptionally difficult time in a person’s life. Couples going through a divorce can feel mentally, emotionally, and physically drained. Divorce is listed as one of the most stressful situations in life that a person might have to deal with. Such a stressful event can really take your head out of the game. Some studies have shown that North America loses more than $150 Billion each year in work performance due to marital related issues. This could be because employees take more time off work during a divorce, which in turn causes less productivity. And when they are at work they just aren’t performing at their normal levels. Employees going through a divorce, have been shown to be between 53% and 75% less productive.
OnlineDivorce says that employees going through a divorce can lose up to 168 hours of work time in a year. So you can only imagine the loss of production.
Companies could also be paying higher health care costs for employees who are suffering from emotional-stress related issues.
Men are also 3 times more likely to suffer from depression after a divorce, than their married counterparts. Most of us know all too well how depression can feel like a never-ending abyss. Depression can cause a loss of interest in things a person once enjoyed before. You can experience constant anxiety or sadness. When a person is depressed because of their divorce they may experience the following problems in the workplace:
More accidents and errors in the workplace due to not being able to concentrate
Less motivated to go to work causing them to take more days off
Easily distracted from the task at hand
Poor decisions making due to not being able to focus, or feeling emotionally drained
Severe anxiety, which can lead to health issues
A study done at Harvard showed how stress from a divorce can increase the chance of a heart attack by 24% for women and by 30% for men.
Divorce can cause emotional problems in all facets of life, and the workplace is not exempt.
So if an employer notices that an employee is struggling emotionally due to a divorce, is there anything that they can do to help their employee with their work performance?
Yes, some things can be done. It might be hard to talk to an employee about their personal problems, but it could help them be open and honest about their situation. You also wouldn’t want to seem nosy or unconcerned, so when discussing this issue, be sure to be compassionate and understanding.
In most cases, taking a few days of leave might help the employee. As an employer, you want to try and be understanding. A few mental health days might be all that’s needed for an employee to focus on their work again.
If you are an employee, your boss can’t fire you for going through a divorce; unless you have done something illegal or broken company policy that merits being fired. As an employee, you could speak to your boss, or your HR department about your situation.
Here are some tips to follow to make sure that your work performance stays on point, even during a divorce.
Tell your boss you are going through a divorce, and that you might need to take some leave. But mention that you will make sure all your work is done and up to date.
Don’t let the entire office know that you are getting a divorce.
Try to find out if you can get involved in more group projects. This will make sure that you are not alone and have people around you to support you and help carry the workload.
Try to read emails relating to your divorce at home. If you need to speak to your lawyer during work hours, make sure it’s brief, and perhaps you could even reschedule the call.
Don’t argue with your spouse over the phone in the office. This is unprofessional.
If you are truly struggling, ask for some time off work to recuperate emotionally. Seeking the help of a qualified therapist will also be helpful.
In conclusion, divorce can affect employees’ work performance in many ways. They might miss more work, make more mistakes, and not focus on tasks at hand. Even though this can be stressful for a company, there are certain things that employers can do to increase work performance and boost morale in the workplace.