Around 37% of workers feel lonely* and around 25% do not engage in activities that connect them with their colleagues*. This is a critical issue that warrants attention from employers, due to the potential cost that this can impose on businesses.
Loneliness in the workplace is associated with poorer job performance and satisfaction, lower organisational commitment and reduced creativity. Employees who are lonely also make more mistakes than less lonely colleagues, take more sick leave, and report a higher intention to resign.
Remote working, which is projected to continue in many industries beyond the current COVID19 pandemic, makes meaningful connection with colleagues even more difficult, with less time spent face to face with colleagues than ever before.
Building workplace knowledge and awareness of social isolation and of the importance of meaningful connection is critical to ensuring staff feel empowered to reach out for help and to appropriately respond to those who need support.
*Source: Michelle Lim, Loneliness researcher, Swinburne University, Chair & Scientific Chair ‘Ending Loneliness Together’.