Psychotherapist Caron Barruw has a wealth of experience in supporting employees of corporations who are dealing with critical life challenges such as divorce and family breakup. In this short video I interviewed her so that her divorce advice and information on how to divorce amicably, could be readily accessible to people experiencing family breakup in the workplace - whether it is their own, or they are suffering the consequences of working with others who are dealing with divorce.
Impact of divorce in the workplace
"Divorce separation and marital relationships have a huge impact on people in the corporate world, especially on their productivity and how they are relating to people, and it has a massive effect on their teams, because somebody who is normally quite productive, suddenly becomes quite unproductive. They're so caught up in this emotional hurricane of their divorce, that they become unavailable.
What I see a lot of in corporate teams is that people take it personally, so they start to think that the person doesn't like them or is not available to them anymore, so this has a domino effect on productivity because the culture of the team changes, especially if these people are in management or leadership roles, as they have a direct impact on everyone underneath them - who sees their leader as maybe moody; cranky; not so available; not able to help them as much as he used to or she used to; having a change in personality. The whole team starts to become less stable and productive, because their leadership is in crisis.
Training programmes on how to deal with divorce
I think it would be ideal if in the workforce they had training programmes on how to deal with family stress and family breakdown and family relationships, because so many of the workforce are affected by friends, family, relatives, brothers, sisters, aunts, grandchildren. If they go through emotional trauma and are sitting at work thinking "how should I help them?" Or "shall I call them?" And the phone's ringing which is distracting them from their work which they should be doing.
And if the companies who are investing in helping people, just have a rough idea on how to manage emotional trauma and relationship breakdown, it would actually mean that people would be more productive at work and be able to balance it better. I think being able to balance the traumas and emotions within your daily life and work can often make for much better productivity.
Parents who are at war - in an adversarial divorce -
do great harm to their children
The children are unhappy, the parents are unhappy, the employers are unhappy - it starts affecting everything. Output, income, promotions, bonuses, the whole life of the family is stuck in trauma rather than moving towards healing because the parents have learned how to be no longer at war."