Effects Of Divorce On Work Performance
No matter how strong a person is, or he thinks he is, most people get rattled to their very core during a divorce. It is because nothing can prepare a person for something like a divorce. Even couples who are on the same page and are anticipating a divorce often experience grief in some shape or form. And it is normal to feel that way. After all, divorce monumentally changes the way you have been living your life. You are not just leaving your spouse, you are leaving the familiarity and comfort of a relationship. And then you are discovering the harsh realities of the legal system. It is hard to catch a break during a divorce. Once these realities start to set in, it becomes harder to cope and manage your devices, even at work.
Effects of Divorce in the Workplace
It is eye-opening how much we are oblivious towards the effects of divorce on the work performance of an employee. While going through a divorce, an employee might start performing poorly, owing to the immense emotional trouble he or she is going through. Lower productivity is one of the most commonly seen symptoms in about-to-be-divorced employees.
Also, it is common for employees to be mentally absent while performing their tasks, which may result in mistakes and blunders. It also becomes difficult for an employee going through a divorce to feel motivated. This makes it challenging for the employee to contribute creatively.
Needless to say, such mental absenteeism may cost the business a lot. According to Completecase.com, divorce tends to trigger negative emotions, which may hamper the decision-making process of the employee. This can cloud his/her judgment, costing the company even more.
There are several studies that have pointed out the correlation between divorce and lowered productivity. An important thing to note in this research is how long it takes for the effects to fade. Often, businesses are subjected to substantial financial loss because of these divorce-related effects.
To summarize the above, divorce can have the following effects on the work-life of a person:
- A decline in productivity at the workplace
- Mental absenteeism, even when the employee is present at the workplace.
- Rise in errors, blunders, and accidents, by the employee.
- A decline in the level of concentration, focus and presence of mind, of the employee.
- Difficulty in making unbiased and rational decisions.
- Heightened anxiety and stress levels.
- Decline in physical health.
Consequences for the employee
At this point, one can easily guess as to what kind of consequences await an employee, who is struggling at work because of his/her divorce. No matter how hardworking an employee you used to be, if your working pattern becomes similar to the one discussed above, you are likely to end up with probation, demotion, or maybe even termination of your job. Losing a job is not an option for anyone, but especially for someone going through a divorce, a job is sometimes the only thing separating them from rock bottom. So it is definitely not an option for them.
But is there a way of dealing with your divorce without messing up your work life?
There has got to be. Otherwise, how can one survive the pressure of targets and deadlines, with this impending doom of divorce hanging over their head? How is one supposed to concentrate on the client’s demands if all that they can think about is the next date of your divorce proceeding? The overwhelming mental and emotional trauma that one experiences during a divorce is bound to spill over at work if active steps are not taken to prevent it from happening.
However, what can be done to minimize the effects of divorce at work?
Confront your demons
First and foremost, you must identify and confront the emotions you are going through. Sweeping them under the rug may seem like a solution, but it is more like putting a bandage over a bullet hole. Unless you face your inner demons, you won’t be able to truly recover from your grief and disappointment.
Inform your boss and colleagues
Divorce is still considered “a road better not taken” in most societies. This stigma that gets attached to divorce might make you apprehensive towards sharing the news. But it is something you must share forthrightly with your boss, as well as some of your closest colleagues. Being honest is the only way you will be able to get the support and understanding that you so desperately need.
Be cordial and patient
There is a range of emotions you might experience at work because of divorce, from anxiety and anger to loneliness and fatigue. However, you must try to keep in mind that even though some of your colleagues might be empathetic to your situation, they are, at the end of the day, your colleagues, not your friends. You must not expect them to understand any sudden temper tantrum. While at work, you must try to be cordial and patient at all times.
Ask for help when you need it
Prepare yourself for failure for the next few months. You will be having trouble concentrating, and your performance will take a nosedive. However, you can save the worst of blunders from happening by asking for help and assistance from your co-workers. Hesitation and embarrassment are emotions that are not going to help you in the workplace. To get by, do whatever you can.
Surround yourself with people
Working alone for long periods could be unhealthy for you. Make sure to surround yourself with people, so that you can keep yourself distracted. In this way, you will not be spending your time dwelling on bad memories and negative thoughts.
Do not engage with divorce-related communication at work
Not just with your co-workers, try to avoid any verbal and non-verbal communication about your divorce at work. This includes, not reading your emails and messages, as well. Take a call from your lawyer, only if it’s necessary.
If you are doing everything you can to move away from bad thoughts, but have not been able to do so, it might be time for you to seek professional help. Seeing a psychiatrist might help you overcome your depression, which might also help you perform better at work.
Employers can help too
Employers can do a lot to make it a bit easier for the employee who is experiencing a divorce. Honest, open communication and expressing support and solidarity can reach a long way in mending wounds. If employers happen to have the resources, then they must try to create solutions for the employee, so that the employee’s workload could be lessened a little bit. There must be efforts by the employers to make sure other co-workers do not take advantage of this situation to gossip and badmouth the employee. Also, employers may provide a little flexibility in working hours so that the employee can keep up with the schedule of the divorce proceedings.
It is hard to escape from the stark realities of facing a divorce. It is also fair to assume a certain level of disturbance in your work life. However, this does not mean that there is no light at the end of the tunnel. These hard times might strengthen you from within and help you become more strong and resilient.
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