August 7, 2019 Last updated August 6th, 2019 1,010 Reads share

Effects of Divorce in the Workplace

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The effects of divorce in the workplace are staggering. Researchers estimate that every ten divorcing employees cost a company more than $83,000 a year in lost productivity. Employees struggling through a divorce are often tardy or miss work and have poor performance and lower productivity than their colleagues. And, though they may be at work, they’re often absent mentally, emotionally and creatively.

The effects of divorce also cause elevated stress and anxiety levels which can lead to poor health and increased healthcare costs for the employee and the company. Some symptoms include:

  • lost productivity
  • absenteeism
  • increased errors and accidents
  • reduced concentration
  • poor decision-making
  • distraction

Dealing with divorce at work is never easy. Not only is divorce an emotional and difficult time but it is also often exacerbated by disagreements and disputes between the divorcing parties. Even an amicable split with little or no property and assets involved can get messy. The first instinct of an employee going through a divorce is grin and bear it. That is the opposite of the recommended approach, open up to co-workers and managers. Here are tips for dealing with divorce at work.

Talk To Your HR Department

The HR department can assist you should you need to change your hours due to full parental rights or other circumstances, like changing insurance/benefits beneficiary, related to divorce. HR will keep your personal matters private.

Tell Your Direct Manager/Supervisor

Divorce will spill over into your work life, your manager/supervisor need to know about this major change in your personal life. It’s reasonable to think that your manager/supervisor will have a certain degree of flexibility, empathy, and support. It’s your call if you want to divulge your personal life at work, if you do, start with your manager/supervisor to avoid putting your co-workers in an awkward position.

Tips on returning to work after divorce

Find Your Interests

Figuring out who you are after a divorce can be complicated, finding a new job can make it doubly complicated. A career counselor can help you navigate a job search, filling out job applications, and interview prep. If your pre-divorce job was a factor that leads to divorce, consider a career change. A career counselor can help with this too. Also, seek advice from friends about their careers, if their career interests you, ask if you can shadow them to have an inside look at the day-to-day responsibilities.

Take Care of Yourself

Even if you were the one who sought out the divorce, it is still one of the most complicated things anyone can go through. Everyone copes with things differently, some indulge in over-eating, some drink heavily. You need to figure out what you need to do to stay healthy. Connect with people who prefer working out over going to happy hour. Was there an activity pre-divorce that you put on the back burner to deal with the divorce? Fall in love with that activity again.

An amicable divorce is complicated, complicated divorce is nasty. Most employers, if informed, will be understanding of your situation and work with you to ensure a smooth transition at work and the flexibility you need. When dealing with divorce at work, make sure to let your managers and HR department know what is going on and give them as much notice as possible if you do need time off. You should also try to ensure that you stay healthy and don’t make rash decisions regarding your future during this tumultuous time.

Shauna Zotalis

Shauna Zotalis

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