Everybody develops personal problems that sometimes creep into their work schedule to the extent of negatively affecting concentration and productivity. Allowing our personal crises to interfere with our work not only affects us but also becomes an unwarranted distraction and burden to workmates. With the right knowledge and guidance, thankfully, you can handle your personal problems and draw a boundary between the issues bogging you and your ability to execute the tasks delegated to you as part of your job.
Analyze your workplace behavior
You could be so entangled in your personal issues that you are not cognizant of the fact that it shows on the outside. Begin by taking stock of your behavior at work to assess the possible perceptions of you by your boss and colleagues in the office. Signs of personal problems creeping into your job include calling in sick regularly, lateness, absenteeism, shoddy work, missed deadlines and frequent long breaks. Behavioral telltale signals include rudeness towards workmates, poor personal hygiene, erratic attitude as well as isolation. Address these issues urgently before your boss takes disciplinary action.
Understand your employee rights
Speaking to your supervisor or boss about your problem might enable him to sympathize with you and cut you some slack. Before doing so, understand your rights as an employee to help you identify any repercussions of talking about your problem. For example, talking about your drug abuse problems might lose you the job without any legal recourse. Your boss is legally entitled to terminate your employment at will as long as the reasons behind it are not illegal.
Talk it out
A problem well stated is half solved; sometimes, talking to your boss, supervisor or workmate might help you conjure a solution to the issues bugging you. Informing your superiors will discard any notions they may have of you slacking off work. Talking out such personal issues may also eventually solidify your boss-employee relationship by building trust. Be precise on what you need from the company in solving your issues including a few days off, a salary advance or guidance and counseling sessions. Your workmates will be able to understand your situation and offer any kind of assistance or suggestion they have.
Use company services
You might be lucky enough to work for an organization that has employee assistance programs (EAPs) in place. Make use of this service, which often targets workers grappling with personal problems. Services provided include confidential guidance and counseling as well as referrals to places where you can get help with your particular problem. You could also develop a disciplinary plan with your supervisor where he provides suggestions on how you can improve your performance without letting your personal issues get in the way.
In the words of Deborah Shane, a renowned author, separation of work and personal life is impossible and hence it is hard to avoid bringing the latter to the workplace. However, it should not create disruptions and chaos in your work life such that your performance takes a deep dip. Your workmates and supervisors will think that these negative attributes are common to you.