Work Productivity Down During Divorce

  • Surveys show a link between going through a divorce and a lack of work productivity.
  • When an employee is divorcing, it affects their co-workers and supervisors.
  • According to reports, employers lose profits when employees experience divorce.

When going through a divorce, an individual can feel distracted from their previous interests. They often lose sight of their daily routine as they spiral toward an uncertain future. Their other relationships can suffer. Their new home routines can suffer.

However, the place where adults spend most of their time during the course of a week can suffer the most: work.

Understanding productivity

Productivity at work implies that work is getting done efficiently and effectively during the allotted amount of time. It is a measured statistic by economists and promotes good work habits that translate outside off the workplace. During turmoil in a relationship, business productivity decreases, according to a survey conducted by family justice organization, Resolution. They found that 9 percent of employees either had to leave their jobs as a result of a divorce or separation from a cohabiting relationship or knew a co-worker who had to do so.

Similarly in the United Kingdom, the Center for Social Justice estimated $56,989,400,000.00 in annual costs to the government, due to family breakdowns. The study revealed that 16 percent of respondents saw a co-worker hit by a sick leave, due to the stress or anguish of a breakup, and it also revealed that 15 percent stated that divorce or separation had a negative impact on work productivity. Similar findings from the Nashville Business Journal found that more than 70 percent of employees may be working at lower productivity, due to their own divorce or a co-worker’s.

These numbers indicate a direct correlation between relationship turmoil and workplace productivity. You are not going to be productive at work if your head is elsewhere, and the possibility of a separation or divorce is going to lower your workflow, creating a slower work pace. The amount you accomplish in any given time frame can affect job security and flow of income, and those elements are at risk when you are not performing at your best at work.

Boosting motivation

Researchers have been consistently trying to find new ways of boosting productivity at the workplace. Researchers at the Social Market Foundation and the University of Warwick’s Center for Competitive Advantage in Global Economy have conducted an experiment, in which they measured happiness and productivity in the workplace. They discovered that after raising their happiness, productivity rose by an average of 12 percent.

The experiment also measured how much real-world problems, such as family matters and mourning, seem to affect the productivity of workers. They found that the lasting effect is over the course of two years and that there is a causal link between lowered productivity and unhappiness.

These concerns are important to employers. A lack of productivity drains their profits, and if they care about their employees, they do not wish to see them suffer. Given the negative lead-up to a divorce, an employee experiencing these events is in for an inevitable hurtle.

How your divorce affects your boss

According to the Nashville Business Journal, approximately one in 10 employees will divorce in any given year, and since they estimate that divorce is a seven year event, encompassing the year prior, the year of, the post-divorce anxiety and impact on productivity, for your employer, 70 percent of the workforce will be experiencing one stage or another at any given time.

Furthermore, co-worker productivity is reduced by 4 percent, during the six months prior and the year of a divorce, and the overseer’s productivity is down 2.5 percent when dealing with this situation. According to the report, divorce lowers the productivity of the employee going through it by an estimated 40 percent, and one-year post-divorce, productivity is down an additional 20 percent, with the co-workers losing 2 percent and the manager losing 1 percent. The numbers gradually go down as the years pass, but productivity still is being lost overall.

For an employer, productivity translates into profit, and when an employee is going through a divorce, it can devastate an employer’s bottom line. According to the report, if a $60,000 a year employee is experiencing a divorce, it can cost an estimated $85,934 in lost productivity, not counting the cost of mistakes or potential profits in lost productivity.

There are only so many things that can be done, in terms of experiencing the stresses of a divorce. For the most part, employers can be understanding and see the anguish of the experience. They know that you’d be at your best if you could. They know you’d be more productive if you weren’t facing this situation. All they can do is try their best to support you, even if they’re at risk to lose, as well, in this situation.

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