6 Life Stressors That Affect Employee Productivity

When it comes to running a business, ensuring your employees are productive throughout the workday is critical to keeping operations running smoothly. When workers experience lulls in performance, it can throw off their groove and create complications for you and other employees working alongside them.

Unfortunately, personal issues and unexpected life experiences lie around every corner, leaving your employees susceptible to productivity-busting distractions. Life can be stressful, and working while dealing with anxiety-inducing situations can lead to critical mistakes, reduced attentiveness, and overall dysfunction.

To ensure your employees remain productive, employers should foster a supportive workplace and offer solutions for those experiencing unforeseen troubles. Read on for six life stressors that can tank employee productivity.


An often-overlooked factor contributing to reduced employee productivity is physical ailments or disabilities. Depending on the severity of the injury, pain can be long-lasting for workers, affecting their ability to concentrate on tasks and contribute throughout the day. Though some injuries are short-lived and treatable, others result in chronic conditions that are difficult to manage and treat. Plus, prolonged sitting and repetitive motions can intensify injuries, resulting in added distress, discomfort, and declined productivity.

While an attorney specializing in personal injuries—like those from Schwartzapfel Lawyers—can lighten the load for injured employees, filing a personal injury claim is still a time-intensive and emotionally-wearing process, thereby distracting star employees from their work responsibilities. However, by allowing workers to take necessary breaks, stand during work, or work from home, you can help eliminate some of their stress.


Another stressor that affects employees during the workday is financial instability. Unfortunately, money problems are nearly unavoidable at times, between unexpected repairs and steep rent prices throwing many employees for a loop.

As a result, many workers experience constant anxiety as they struggle to make ends meet, leaving them less attentive and productive during work hours. Ensuring your employees receive fair wages and educating them on money management can ease their financial anxiety, enabling them to zero in on essential tasks and projects.

Interpersonal relationships

One of the most significant home-life stressors that influence employee productivity is marital or relationship complications. Whether it’s divorce, infidelity, or the death of a loved one, personal issues are distracting and consuming, negatively affecting your employee’s performance at work. Though it may not seem like employers can help mitigate personal tragedies or complications, your employees may appreciate you sharing and recommending HR-approved counseling resources. However, tread lightly when discussing personal matters and avoid taking on a therapist role to ensure your work relationship remains professional.


Unfortunately, illness is an unavoidable part of life, and every employee will face bouts of sickness. While you can afford employees a sick day or two, prolonged or chronic illness can be challenging to manage, leaving them out of commission for extended periods. On the other hand, if under-the-weather employees come into work, the chances of functioning at full capacity and meeting daily goals reduce significantly. However, by providing workers with high-quality healthcare coverage and prioritizing their well-being, your star employees will be back and excelling in no time.

Mental health

With mental illnesses like anxiety and depression surging through nearly every population, the chances of you hiring someone with an emotional disability is high. Unfortunately, low mental health can significantly impact one’s performance at work, critically affecting productivity, focus, and drive. That said, by eliminating shame and stigma surrounding mental health issues and fostering a supportive work environment for your employees, you can help struggling workers seek help.

Wrapping up

Though it can be challenging when an employee allows personal life stressors to impact productivity during work hours, showing understanding and compassion is key to reducing downtime.

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