Reducing Loneliness in the Workplace
- Date: Monday 23rd July 2018
- PDF: Download
Feelings of loneliness can happen to anybody and dealing with these can be difficult and easy to shy away from. Ensuring that your employees can deal with loneliness effectively can be seen as the responsibility of a manager or team leader. However, it is not always easy for managers to spot signs that their staff might be experiencing loneliness.
There are plenty of ways you can have an impact on an employee's life, simply by taking the following measures:
Become more attuned to your employee's needs
Do not assume an employee will voice concerns or push themselves to solve an issue. Take the initiative to notice if they are struggling. Perhaps move the employee to another area in the office with some familiar faces or schedule an informal meeting to discuss their concerns. This will demonstrate that you have recognised they are not totally comfortable at work, promoting enhanced loyalty and productivity from the employee who will feel valued as a result.
Create a team atmosphere
Work days out or after work drinks are great ways to build team chemistry. If you have a new employee, this will enable them to mingle with other colleagues and begin to express themselves. Feeling part of a team will help to eliminate feelings of loneliness.
Introduce a no eating at desks policy
Sitting in an office all day can feel isolating especially if a demanding workload does not leave time for staff to communicate. An easy way to tackle this is to encourage employees to leave their desks at lunch or during breaks and sit together, ensuring that even the busiest people have a chance to join the rest of the team. The benefits of talking to others and having a chance to relax in a more informal setting can be huge, preventing people from becoming too consumed in their work and disconnected from others.
Tips to share with employees
1. Encourage listening to music
Putting the radio or a playlist on can enhance the mood instantly. Whether this is a relaxing instrumental piece or an up-beat hit, having a sing along with co-workers can improve confidence, relationships and make employees feel at ease. It is also likely that productivity will increase.
2. Start with a small social group
Creating work relationships can be difficult as a new employee. It is often best to start small, by finding someone of a similar age who may be easier to talk to and start sharing your interests. This will not only build confidence but having a close work friend will also allow you to express feelings when you are either down or have something on your mind.
3. Change your scenery
Moving seating position within an office can reap benefits. Something as simple as a different view, being at a window or working alongside another colleague will help to fight the battle of feeling lonely.
4. Leave the office
Staring at the same four walls day in, day out will drain you. By spending a part of the lunch time outside of the office to get fresh air will help clear the head. Being in a busy environment can impact how an employee deals with loneliness. Employees could ask a colleague to join them as this will help to make them more relaxed and less overwhelmed by looming deadlines.