THE COST OF GRIEF

September 16, 2008
Michael Sheehan

Physician's Money Digest, February15 2003, Volume 10, Issue 3

When a loved one dies, survivorsmourn. So do businesses, which lose$75 billion a year in lost productivitydue to grief, according to the GriefRecovery Institute (www.grief-recovery.com). In an effort to quantifyhow much their grief is costing theeconomy, the institute has measuredthe impact of a variety of life events,from divorce to death of a loved one,and come up with a "grief index." Indeveloping the index, counselorstalked to 25,000 grieving people,who reported almost unanimouslythat their job performance was affected.Although the death of a loved onecosts the most in lost productivehours ($37.6 billion a year), even thedeath of a pet costs businesses $2.4billion annually. The institute maintainsthat longer bereavement leaveswould help employees to be moreproductive when they return.