When most individuals consider the negative ramifications of a divorce, they think about the effects of a broken home and the impact divorce will have on their children and family. Thus, it can come as a shock when the divorce process insidiously interferes with other aspects of their life, such as work performance and earnings potential.
While your divorce may be unavoidable, we recommend reading, Keeping it Together at Work When Your Marriage is Falling Apart, for information on how to keep things as honest, clear and straightforward with your employer, co-workers, and yourself as your divorce moves forward.
The Financial Impact Of Divorce In The Workplace
The Harvard Business Review studied the various ways divorce impacts businesses and the employee workplace and found that divorces cost American businesses as much as $150 billion dollars on an annual basis.
This financial impact is unpleasant for employers, but it is even more devastating for those in the process of going through a divorce in terms of lost days at work and necessary time off for legal proceedings. Your divorce may also cost you more time off work to facilitate children’s sick days or to supplement their transportation to appointments and extracurricular events when it’s your turn to have custody.
Here are some surprising statistics about the financial impact of divorce in the workplace:
- Divorce-related stress costs employers about $300 billion per year (Minneapolis-based Life Innovations study titled “Marriage and Family Wellness: Corporate America’s Business).
- The average employee loses about 168 hours of work time in the year after the divorce, impacting both the employee, fellow employees – as well as the employer.
- Serious emotional stress resulting from divorce can account for about $75 billion dollars in work pay/productivity losses (Grief Recovery Institute).
Divorce Affects Employee Productivity In Multiple Ways
There are multiple ways that divorce affects employee productivity, resulting in revenue losses for both the employee and the employer. Missed work is only one of the ways divorce impacts employees and the companies who employ them.
Additional financial losses stem from:
Lack of focus and reduced concentration
In terms of mental/emotional wellbeing, divorce is #2 on the list of the most significant life stressors, second only to the death of a spouse. As a result, the emotional impact it has in terms of both stress and grief results in the same outcome – one of which is a lack of focus and reduced concentration.
Tasks take longer to complete, or they may have to be completed by co-workers, managers, and/or higher-paid personnel. Forgetfulness may also result in missed meetings, forgetting to return important calls and other absent-minded mistakes that take a toll on professional relationships or your company’s reputation.
Increased errors and accidents
Not only do increased errors and accidents result in errors or accidents that are a nuisance to the workplace, divorce-related errors and accidents can also lead to costly litigation. In worst-case scenarios, an absent-minded error or accident may harm someone else or result in a work-related fatality.
If the stress of your divorce is causing you to make errors that you wouldn’t normally – it’s a sign that you need better support. Consider joining a support group or enlisting the help of a family therapist who can help you navigate the windy road ahead with a better sense of balance and wellbeing.
Distraction and poor decision-making
Similarly, those who are getting divorced are more likely to be distracted, which leads to poor or erroneous decision-making. In addition to errors or accidents, you may wind up with your first “write-ups” from HR, or you could lose your job if work productivity, absenteeism, or repeated mistakes jeopardize your employment.
An Amicable Divorce Is Your Best Bet
While it may seem like an impossibility, working towards an amicable and efficient divorce is the best way to minimize the effects of divorce on your work performance. Tips for an amicable or successful divorce include:
- Considering mediation with a family law professional to hold the divorce in a more collaborative and less competitive or combative process
- Make co-parenting a priority if there are children in the picture
- Hire an experienced attorney who will expedite the process as much as possible
The simpler and streamlined your divorce process is, the less impact it will have on your work attendance and performance.
Is a DIY divorce taking its toll at your workplace? Contact us for friendly, professional, and expert legal advice.