How Your Personal Life Carries Over to Your Work Life

Columbus Chamber
The Columbus Chamber provides connections, resources and solutions that help small businesses and Fortune 500 enterprises grow Central Ohio's economy.

Member Insights by Live Wellness

Having a good work/life balance is important to maintaining a healthy physical, mental, and emotional state. But work and home life cannot be wholly separated. What happens at work often stays with you after hours and what happens at home can deeply impact your work. Whether you are experiencing anger, anxiety, depression, or other stresses, be aware of how your home life can affect your work life.


Stress is the number one productivity killer at any job. Strong emotions and stresses from home life can leave workers distracted from their tasks. For example, someone facing debt might spend work time worrying or even making personal calls and emails to deal with their home situation. A worker with a sick relative may worry throughout the day and take frequent breaks to check in with family. The more stressed your employees are, the more productivity will decline.

Work Quality

Your emotional state can also affect the quality of your work. Someone struggling with depression may manifest this as apathy toward their projects. Without interest in their work, employees will not put their all into each task and will end up with sub-par results. Work quality can also be affected by rushing through tasks. Workers who try to complete as much as they can as quickly as they can, so they can return to their home life sooner will not pay as much attention and may overlook minor or major mistakes. In many industries, distraction can also lead to a job-related injury.

Professional Relationships

Strong emotions at home can leave people with a short fuse. If an employee has had a fight with a spouse or child, they might bring that emotion into work and snap at coworkers or bosses. Anxiety and depression can cause people to pull away from others and appear as a loner, or not a team player. Work friendships and professional relationships with vendors, clients, and customers can be deeply impacted by your daily attitude and interactions with them.

Career Advancement

All of the above can add up to a lack of career advancement. Workers with low productivity, poor quality work, and strained professional relationships will not be top of the boss’s list for a raise or promotion. Employees working toward a leadership role need to be interactive, empathetic, and demonstrate dedication. If someone is dealing with their own personal issues from home, they will not be exhibiting these qualities and will not experience professional advancement.

While many people try to keep a strong separation between their work and personal lives, the two are intricately linked. The key to not letting your home life affect your work life is to recognize your emotions and deal with them. Professional counseling is a great way to manage stress and make you a better worker.