While many people work somewhere that has an excellent team spirit and collaborative working, we can all feel lonely at some point during the working week. It is important to remember that everyone can feel this at any point, and that there are ways to tackle loneliness – and stay on top of your mental health.
When the pandemic hit and most of us adapted to working from home, loneliness in the UK reached an all-time high. Humans are genetically wired to be social beings, so when we were mandated to stay inside, everyone was forced into a state of being most hadn’t experienced before. Being in an office creates a sense of comradery and spirit that is the very essence of the Lodders brand. While home working has huge benefits, it can leave people feeling very lonely.
Loneliness affects many of us at one time or another, and we know that loneliness can be both the driver for and a product of poor mental health.
It has been estimated that the cost of loneliness to UK employers is £2.5 billion every year since the start of the pandemic.
According to GOV.uk your place of work can have a massive impact on your mental health. Changing jobs more than we used to and temporary rather than permanent contracts are associated with loneliness.
Relationships at work are a top driver of job satisfaction and can affect wellbeing and performance. A lack of social connection at work can lead to lower commitment and productivity, higher absences, and staff turnover, and those who report higher loneliness appear less approachable to colleagues.
The most common issues affecting mental health at work include:
Signs of loneliness manifest in different ways. Usually signs revolve around: working excessively and lacking self-motivation. Spending an excessive time on a solitary activity, having a negative attitude to life, feeling worthless, helpless or powerless with very few friends, over-reacting to life events and spending excessive time in front of the television can all contribute and make your isolation seem worse.
It is really important to talk through anything that might be affecting your mental health, no matter where you are.
Planning social gatherings and team building activities provides a way for employees to meet colleagues, gather company news and updates, and create quality friendships. At Lodders, we are reinstating our regular lunchtime ‘walk and talk’ activities alongside regular social events.
Recognising and celebrating the successes of employees and teams is important in making people feel included and appreciated.
Lodders appreciate that feedback is important and want to help. We do this by sending out surveys, identifying what matters to employees and how we can improve on things.
Consider putting in place an accessible and confidential EAP (Employee Assistance Programme) to give employees access to expert help or advice. The Lodders EAP is available to support employees experiencing work or personal problems that are affecting the individual either at home or at work.
Whether you are working from home, or in the office, social interaction is key to balancing loneliness and isolation. Simply taking the time to say hello to a stranger, or to check in with someone you may not have seen for a while can make all the difference.
This article forms part of our series during Mental Health Awareness Week. Read our other articles in the series: 2.6 million ‘hidden workforce’ need time for themselves and Balancing the loneliness disconnect across agriculture
The theme for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week is loneliness. Find out more: Mental Health Foundation announces ‘loneliness’ as theme for Mental Health Awareness Week 2022 | Mental Health Foundation
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The opinions and views in this article are for information only and do not constitute legal advice.Contact us
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