Having friendships and being included means we are more engaged, productive and creative, have better (battling) job satisfaction and employee turnover is often lower. If that is such a given, then why do one in five of us feel lonely at work, according to mentalhealth-uk.org?
Battling Loneliness in the Workplace: An HR Perspective

As we approach Loneliness Awareness Week (12th – 18th of June), it’s time to address an often overlooked issue in the workplace: loneliness. Despite the clear benefits of workplace friendships and inclusion, such as increased engagement, productivity, and job satisfaction, a staggering one in five employees reports feeling lonely at work, according to mentalhealth-uk.org.


The Silent Epidemic

Contrary to popular belief, loneliness is not synonymous with being alone. It’s a complex emotion that can affect anyone, from entry-level employees to CEOs. A Deloitte study reveals that 30% of senior executives report feelings of isolation, often due to the pressures of decision-making and the perceived need to project strength at all times.


The rise of remote work has further exacerbated this issue. A survey from Kadence found that 67% of workers aged 18 – 34 reported difficulty in forming and maintaining relationships with colleagues while working from home.


The Impact of Loneliness

Loneliness has far-reaching implications for both mental and physical health. It can lead to increased stress levels, poor sleep quality, higher rates of burnout, and feelings of depression and anxiety. This, in turn, can result in decreased productivity, creativity, and performance, as lonely individuals may feel less motivated and engaged in their work tasks.


HR’s Role in Combating Loneliness

Identifying Vulnerability

HR professionals need to be vigilant in identifying those who may be more susceptible to feelings of isolation, such as remote workers, single parents, and employees from minority backgrounds.

Fostering a Sense of Purpose

Cultivating a positive work culture that values inclusion, collaboration, and recognition can reinforce a sense of belonging and purpose, thereby reducing feelings of loneliness.

Encouraging Open Communication

Creating a supportive atmosphere where everyone feels comfortable expressing their emotions and sharing their experiences can foster connections and build trust among team members.

Maintaining a Non-Toxic Environment

HR must be vigilant in identifying and addressing negative behaviors such as rudeness, bullying, and harassment to prevent the development of a toxic work environment.

Providing Opportunities for Socialization

Organizations should facilitate the formation of friendships among colleagues by providing opportunities for socialization, such as on-site social events, lunches, or fun sporting fixtures.

Implementing Support Systems

Implementing a buddy system or a peer support program can promote employee connections and open the door to collaboration, skill exchange, and better understanding.

Balancing Work Relationships

While fostering a sense of community is important, it’s equally crucial to maintain personal boundaries. Striking a balance between meaningful connections with colleagues and personal space is key.


As we continue to navigate the complexities of the modern workplace, let’s remember that everyone wants to feel seen, celebrated, and cared for. Let’s strive to create workplaces where no one feels alone.

Stay tuned, to PropleManager.co.in for further updates on the evolving workplace paradigm.     


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