A divorce is undoubtedly one of the most stressful and emotionally straining situations a person can go through, but the impact is also substantial for their workplace, both in regards to atmosphere and productivity. Divorce can cause problems for any company, and the advice in this post will prove to be invaluable to tackle any issues you have.
Divorce causes a host of issues for couples and families who are unfortunate enough to go through it. For business owners, managers and other professionals, though, that list of concerns can be made longer still. A productive and efficient workplace requires staff members to be on the ball and free of distraction — an atmosphere that proves to be very difficult to maintain during a divorce.
Also read: What To Do When Employees Bring Personal Struggles Into The Workplace
In this post, we take a closer look at a few of the reasons a divorce can cause havoc for the workplace. Whether the individual working through a divorce is management or an employee, we’ll outline the issues to be aware of, and what can be done to avoid disruption in their professional life.
1. A Stressful Work Environment
There’s a lot to deal with during with a divorce, such as a change of living situation, finding good divorce lawyers to argue your case, and the unavoidable financial impact. Each of these factors have the potential to very stressful on their own, but when combined, there’s no doubt that the experience can be very overwhelming and, at times, unbearable.
A workplace is a fragile ecosystem that relies on healthy, motivated, happy workers to get the very best results. Anyone who’s in the middle of a breakup or a recent divorcee will understandably struggle to maintain all of these attributes. The stress they bring with them into the office will prove to be hazardous for all around them. This can lead to arguments, hostile behaviour and the breakdown of professional relationships.
Stress in the workplace should be avoided at all costs, so it’s vital to sit down with the person and discuss what they feel would be the best way to move forward. While it’s important to be sensitive and sympathetic to their situation, you need to demonstrate that stress in the office isn’t something you want. This may lead to them taking a leave of absence to deal with their issues, or working with their family lawyer to create a more manageable and hassle-free legal strategy.
2. Distraction and Inefficiency
With all of the emotional factors involved with a divorce, as well as the fact that your living arrangement and financial situation are changing, it’s pretty safe to assume that your career won’t be your top priority. Although your divorce lawyer will prove to be a vital asset when it comes to taking on some of the responsibility, you’ll still find that it’s easy to be distracted when your personal life is in turmoil.
So what does this mean for the workplace? Well, it’s not great, and it’s an unfortunate fact that distraction breeds inefficiency. This not only applies to yourself, as if you struggle to pull your weight, it can severely affect those who rely on you. It’s for this reason that many people opt for time off during their divorce to benefit themselves and their career.
If you’re distracted at work because of your divorce proceedings, then it’s important to firstly recognise the problem, and then take the right steps to fix it. This may mean time off or a prolonged leave of absence, but you’ll also find that voicing your concerns to your divorce solicitor will help to reduce stress and receive some extremely beneficial advice.
3. Poor Decision-Making
The decisions that an individual makes in the workplace (especially if they are upper management) can make or break careers, affect the progress of projects, or even the future of the company. As we’ve already mentioned, the end of a marriage tends to cause a substantial amount of stress and distraction, both of which are major contributing factors to the poor decision-making that follows.
The impact of these decisions not only causes problems for the productivity of the workplace and efficiency of the work being done, but it also diminishes the faith and confidence employees have in their leader — which in itself will cause a rapid decline in performance.
If a member of staff is showing obvious signs of stress and poor decision-making, it’s the responsibility of upper management to intervene. Instead of jumping straight to disciplinary action, use HR knowledge and training to connect and show sympathy. We mentioned above that delegating is a genuinely beneficial option. So, if the person in question needs a break from work, you have the perfect opportunity to allow them the time off to recoup, but also to give another employee a boost.
Although much of your divorce proceedings can be handled by your divorce lawyer — without the need for you to be in attendance — there will still be times where you need be away from work, whether it’s for legal or personal reasons. Those who are suffering from a particularly messy divorce may find themselves away from the office for prolonged periods, which naturally will affect the workplace environment.
Also read: Limiting Absenteeism at Work
If a manager or boss is absent frequently or for an extended period, it’s vital that their role isn’t vacant and their duties are still attended. If this is the case, it’s a good idea to delegate these tasks to willing and capable members of staff. Not only does this help your absenteeism problem, but it also shows your employees that you have faith in them, which is an invaluable boost for morale.
When it comes to divorce, it’s vital to take care of number one, but this is often forgotten when people are trying to maintain their professional life. Giving yourself the necessary time off to clear your head, as well as seeking the assistance of a divorce solicitor, are essential steps for a less stressful break-up. With that said, the advice in this post will prove to be a huge benefit if you or someone you know is attempting to juggle a career and the end of their marriage.
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