8 Ways Family Life Can Affect Workplace Performance


It has been well documented that a disruptive family life can have an effect on workplace performance – but how exactly might that happen? Read on below for a closer look…

Everybody knows that there are a number of contributing factors that might affect someone’s workplace performance. Fatigue, stress and the physical work environment can all have a profound impact on an individual’s ability to complete their job to the best of their abilities.

One factor which tends to encompass a wide range of potential issues is what an employee’s family life looks like. Where someone is finding their life away from the workplace difficult, they’re likely to bring their problems with them, restricting what they’re capable of achieving. 

If you’re an employer, it’s vital that you have a detailed understanding of  business employment law so you can support your employees as best as you can. Learning the most common ways someone’s family life might be affecting their workplace performance is also paramount so that you can be in a better position to help them. So, to find out how, read on…

8 Family Issues That Might Impact Your Employees’ Performance

  1. Difficulty with Childcare

If your employee has children, it won’t come as a surprise to learn that their life will revolve entirely around them. Everybody will always want what’s best for their children, no matter what.

That means, if there are any issues with regards to organising childcare, schooling or arrangements to see children with an ex-partner, your employee is going to struggle to devote their attention to their work. It’s only natural.

So, for any employee who has children, it’s worth checking in every now and then to see how they’re getting on. If there are any issues, you can work to address them proactively before they start to have a negative effect on your employees’ productivity. For instance, you could change their work hours, or offer more flexible remote work options.

  1. Relationship Strain

No relationship is perfect, and everybody goes through their ups and downs with their partner. Often times, arguments between couples tend to resolve themselves but, in more complicated scenarios, tensions can start to mount which can put a relationship in jeopardy.

In situations where your employee is splitting up with a long-term partner, or going through divorce proceedings, they’re going to have a lot on their plate. This can make it incredibly difficult to concentrate on work.

  1. Illness or Injury in the Family

If someone becomes ill, or suffers a life-changing injury, it often falls on their loved ones to provide immediate care. If someone has a range of conditions that require round the clock attention, it’s no wonder that someone’s work might not seem like a priority.

If you know that someone is looking after a family member who is dependent on them, it would be beneficial for all parties if you allowed them extra leave or negotiate alternative working patterns that will help them to manage their situation.

  1. Bereavements

A death in the family can take a heavy emotional toll on anyone, but that’s not the only factor to consider when it comes to the bereavement period. You need to remember the fact that your employee may have a number of practical issues to deal with if a family member has died, such as acting as the executor of a Will.

These are complicated issues that require plenty of time and energy, which have the potential to detract away from someone’s ability to perform in the workplace.

  1. Too Much Time Away from the Family

Spending too much time in the workplace can often kickstart a vicious cycle. While your employee may be carrying out great work, and their commitment will be appreciated, it can prove to be detrimental to their family life, as they’re not spending enough time with their loved ones.

Tensions may start to arise, which can cause feelings of stress and anxiety, meaning the extra time your employee is spending at work isn’t going to be productive to start with.

  1. General Financial Concerns

Money problems are a common cause of stress and anxiety. Your employee may be struggling with their mortgage payments, be in a large amount of debt, or be covering for their partner who has found themselves unemployed. Each of these might contribute to general financial woes.

For this reason, it’s sensible to offer up your employees general financial advice if you have the resources to do so. It’s a sensitive subject that someone might feel embarrassed to approach you with directly. If they know there’s support on offer, they may start to feel a little more at ease. 

  1. Legal Issues

This doesn’t necessarily mean your employee is going to be on trial for a criminal offence. Rather, your employee could be involved in a wide range of legal issues, such as a dispute over a Will, or a disagreement with a conveyancer.

Legal disputes, no matter how minor, have the potential to escalate, so you should encourage employees to be forthcoming if they are involved in one. This way you’ll be able to support them accordingly.

  1. Loneliness

Not everyone goes home from work to a bustling family home. The number of single households in the UK is surprisingly high, which means there’s a good chance there are various employees at your business who live alone.

While living a life of solitude may suit some people, others may find it difficult, especially if they don’t have many friends or family they can rely on. Feelings of loneliness can be hard to shake. If you know that one of your employees lives alone, be sure to actively encourage them to engage in social events.

Are You Concerned About Your Employees’ Family Lives?

Of course, this list isn’t definitive. Everybody’s family life is going to be different, with a unique set of challenges, which means it’s important that your employees know they can be forthcoming with any issues they might have so you can make the best possible arrangements.

Have you got any questions about how to deal with an employee whose family life is affecting their workplace performance? Feel free to leave a comment below…

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