According to a 2023 Glassdoor Economic Research study, over half of employees feel lonely all or most of the time at work, and loneliness at work has increased 11% since January of 2022. There are a number of reasons for that loneliness, including social media, the forced isolation brought on by the COVID pandemic, and remote work.
Workers’ loneliness affects the bottom line in terms of productivity, satisfaction, and growth. It’s important that employees are able to make connections, because otherwise they’re likely to feel that they don’t fit and decide to leave the organization. Making friends (inside or outside of work) takes some effort; you have to take the initiative to reach out and meet people, even if it’s outside of your comfort zone.
Creating community at work doesn’t have to be expensive; it can be as simple as having regular social outings. Ask a small group of employees to plan social outings so you know they’re events that your team wants to do. Leaders should be expected to build community as part of their job, and make sure they’re being evaluated and/or rewarded. No one wants to spend time and effort on planning something if there isn’t any importance attached to it.
In this episode’s listener question, we’re asked about whether there’s legal protection for supervisors discussing pay, complaining about their bosses, etc. In the news, giving workers the option to be paid for the day instead of waiting for an organization-wide payday is on the rise.
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