Loneliness – How can Employers Support their Employees?
We all get feelings of loneliness from time to time, whether we are by ourselves or surrounded by crowds of people, it is a reflection of an individual’s subjective experience, which can lead to feelings of isolation.
Research finds a strong relationship between loneliness and a risk to both mental and physical health, and as the cycle begins it gets harder to break; increased loneliness leads to an increased chance of health problems, increased health problems leads to an increased feeling of loneliness. Negative mental health issues such as depression, social anxiety, distress, reduced positive emotions, are a recognised result of isolation.
As we are now in our third lockdown, we have to think about the impact this has on people. Through the first lockdown, 7.4million people stated that their mental well-being was affected because of feeling lonely. 50.8% of 16-24-year-olds stated they experienced loneliness – the highest percentage demographic.
What can employers do?
Increased feelings of loneliness go hand in hand with increased stress, negative thoughts, and low self-esteem. All of these factors can impact on an employees’ productivity within a workforce. It will therefore be an integral part of a companies’ culture to work against promoting isolation of employees.
Loneliness affects everyone in different ways and a ‘one-size-fits-all’ strategy will often not be the most effective way to tackle this issue. Implementing an approach that is flexible to each individual’s needs is a sure-fire way to make all employees feel valued.
- An open-door policy – encouraging open communication of well-being issues and evidencing the companies dedication to ensure all employees are taken care of.
- Strengthen bonds – planning things like group activities and encouraging informal teamwork will lead to stronger social relationships and create that feeling of belonging.
- Optimising your workspace – small changes to a workspace layout can encourage conversation and an inclusive feeling that will satisfy our need as social creatures to have a connection with others.
- Encouraging conversations – arguably, the most important thing you can do is consider those who might be lonely and ensure they have the support networks and the knowledge that they can talk to their colleagues or managers for support, especially at these difficult times.
Do you know what to do when it comes to your employee’s mental health?
Do you have high rates of sick absences? Do you struggle to keep employee’s wellbeing at the top of your agenda?
What if you could reduce the number of sick absences you have, what if you could increase your employees productively at work. The most successful businesses are those that invest in their people and put their employee’s wellbeing at the top of their agenda. Your people are the drivers of your business, looking after their mental wellbeing will only benefit your business in the long run.
Thrive has created a Wellbeing programme for businesses to better understand their employee’s wellbeing and by having this knowledge you will reap the rewards.
Please note this blog is for reference purposes only and is only accurate at the date it was published. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Specific legal advice about your specific circumstances should always be sought separately before taking or deciding not to take any action. Please contact us if you have any questions on email@example.com