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Business and Divorce: How to Prevent Personal Issues from Undermining Productivity

ByClayton Miller,
business.com writer
| Last Modified
Mar 02, 2018
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> Human Resources
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When it comes to the continued success of a company, much relies on how productive and motivated its employees are. Unfortunately, personal problems such as divorce can understandably have a severe impact on the workplace environment. In this article, we highlight a few ways this can be prevented so you can maintain productivity and happiness in the office through a difficult time.

When an employee is experiencing turmoil due to personal circumstances, it naturally affects their mood and ability to work efficiently. A divorce is undoubtedly one of the most difficult experiences someone can go through, and the fallout can negatively influence both the employee and the people around them, which, in this case, is the people they share a workplace with.

Supporting your employee in a number of ways through times like this isn't just the right thing to do. It can also prevent the situation having a knock-on effect that could harm your business.

Humanize the employer/employee relationship.

For an employer to have the respect of their employees, it's essential for them to establish a sense of authority and make it known that the workplace should be productive at all times. But when it comes to personal situations like divorce, the relationship between an employer and employee can become somewhat blurred.

While it's always vital to maintain the same level of professionalism, it's times like these that an employer should view the person going through a divorce as another human, first, and as an employee, second. This will help to connect with them more efficiently, empathize with their situation and find a solution that helps the employee as well as the business.   

Ensure it doesn't distract other employees.

For a workforce to perform at their best, it's crucial for employees to be able to work together efficiently and gel as a team. Team building and bonding, as well as the day-to-day goings-on around the office, naturally create friendships and create a greater sense of kinsmanship. The problem is that if one employee has fallen on hard times, such as the upheaval of a divorce, there's a good chance it will impact other employees in one way or another.

Those who are friendly with the person being divorced will immediately be affected, and with greater severity. The struggles of their friend will begin to weigh on their own mind and distract them from their duties. You also have to consider how it will affect the work environment, because there's the possibility of it causing stress, hostility, and division in the ranks – none of which is beneficial and should not be tolerated.

We've already mentioned the importance of being empathetic and helping the situation, but that's not to say you should disregard the importance of being a leader. It's vital to make it known that the workplace is for business and business only. Personal problems shouldn't be affecting the productivity and progress of other employees, and if it does, then it's your job to step in and ensure that it stops immediately.  

A divorce lawyer plays a vital role.

You and members of your staff can only do so much when it comes to giving someone the necessary help and support needed to navigate their way through a divorce. The one person who can help them from beginning to end and onwards is their divorce solicitor. The advice and knowledge provided by a high-quality family lawyer are worth their weight in gold for their mindset, financial situation, and also their career.

While it may seem selfish to think of your business in this type of situation, the introduction of a reputable divorce lawyer will also benefit your company massively. By lightening the load in regards to legal obligations, as well as the giving them the peace of mind knowing their future is in the hands of a professional, your employee can focus on getting themselves in the right frame of mind moving forward.

Time off may be the only solution.

Everyone is different and will react differently to certain situations. Going through a divorce is often a life-changing and emotionally traumatic ordeal. Some people see their job as a healthy distraction while they get their personal life in order, but others find it difficult to cope when attempting to maintain a successful career. If you have an employee who is showing signs of the latter, then time off may be the only option.

This gives them time to establish what their next move will be, adjust to a new living situation, and to take care of financial and legal responsibilities. They may argue the case that they would prefer to stay in the office. But if your company is showing signs of inefficiency or an impact on other employees, your only option is to do what is best for everyone, which, in this case, may be time off for the divorcing employee.

In the digital age, there's a lot of focus on the ways technology affects the modern business world, but the people working behind the scenes are still very much the driving force of a company's success. This is why serious issues that impact productivity and workplace efficiency (such as divorce) should always be dealt with with the utmost care, sensitivity, and motivation to stay on track.

Clayton Miller
Clayton Miller
See Clayton Miller's Profile
Clayton deals with all aspects of law, specialising in all family matters, company structures (private and public, offshore trusts, prenuptial agreements, international law, high net worth cases and cohabitation law. Clayton also deals with Inheritance Act claims. He also spent 5 years working with a firm in Australia before moving to the UK in 1999.
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