5 out of office issues that impact the workplace environment

Although we live in an era where technology is vital for business success, the wellbeing of employees and the atmosphere of the workplace can be equally as influential. In this post, we’ll take a look a few out of office issues — such as getting a divorce or financial concerns — and how they can affect the workplace environment.

For a company to prosper, it’s essential for its employees to be in a workplace that breeds creativity, efficiency and productivity. Each employee is crucial for the collaborative success of a business and, unfortunately, if one of them is distracted or distressed due to out of office issues, it can impact the entire workplace.

In this article, we’ll highlight some common out of office issues that employees experience, how it impacts the workplace and what can be done to rectify the situation.

  1. Financial problems

Concerns about finances are something that affects everyone from time to time. Money is arguably the biggest and most common cause of stress, as it impacts pretty much every aspect of a person’s life, including their career. This not only has the potential to tarnish their ability and progression as a professional, but it can also be an unwelcome distraction for other employees.

The workplace needs to be efficient and productive for a business to succeed, which can prove to be difficult if an employee is stressed. It’s something that needs to be approached in a way that ensures the best outcomes for the employee and also the company. This may come in the form of offering additional hours to help them earn more, or something long-term such as setting them up with a reputable financial adviser.

  1. Depression

Approximately one in four people in the UK will experience mental health problems every year. A large number of these people battle depression, which can prove to be a severe hindrance for motivation, productivity and an overall positive state of mind. Someone who lacks these traits finds many aspects of everyday life to be challenging, nevermind the motivation and creativity required to be an asset to the company they work for.

Depression is an affliction that comes in many different forms, with varied levels of severity, and it’s also something that can take a long time to shake off. It’s for these reasons that it can be difficult for an employer to tackle. If an employee is finding day-to-day work too difficult to deal with, then time off may be the best option, but if they decide that work is the healthy distraction they need, it’s a good idea to ask your HR department for additional support.

  1. Getting a divorce

Unfortunately, ‘til death do us part’ isn’t so much the case anymore, with many marriages ending in divorce. Anyone who has gone through a divorce will be able to tell you that it’s one of the most difficult things a person can endure, as it can mean a substantial financial impact and a change of living arrangement, as well as emotional strain that often comes with a breakup.

Divorce will have an enormous effect on an employee and prevent them working to the best of their ability. Time off may be necessary to allow them to clear their head or provide the time needed to get advice from their divorce solicitor. As an employer, it’s vital to speak to the employee and establish what the best move for them is. Some may decide that time off will help them to recover and organise their life, while others may need work to keep their mind off of the breakdown of their marriage.

During this period, a person’s family lawyer will be their most vital asset. This will allow them to get the best possible resolution and return them to a healthier state of mind sooner. This, in turn, will prevent and reduce any workplace distractions, hostility, or inefficiency that may be caused by the distraction of a divorce.

  1. Illness

Another instance is employees who are regularly absent from work because of a medical condition or will need time off due to a serious illness. In this case, an employer will have to establish whether or not the remaining employees can manage without them, or if a temporary replacement is necessary. It’s essential to sit down with the employee and gain a better idea of how much time off they will need, but also make sure you reassure them that they still have a job to come back to.

Following this, you need to analyse your options in regards to managing the needs of the business while one employee is away. If it’s simply impossible to allocate the duties to their colleagues, you should be looking to replace them for the time being. If the absent employee happens to be in a management position, this creates an ideal opportunity to provide another with training and experience in this role, with future promotion in mind.