Loneliness has become almost a dirty word in modern society. While more people feel lonely today than ever before, admitting it seems harder than ever too. A recent study showed that a large number of people feel lonely and that it can have a huge impact on work performance.
Loneliness is the desire to connect with others going unfulfilled. The desire to connect is a very normal part of human behavior. It is why so many of us have friends and partners. If it is going unfulfilled it is very normal to be upset about it. Yet in modern society admitting loneliness is seen as an incredible weakness. Social media likely has a part to play as we have never been so connected with the world and at the same time so far apart.
A study found that 61% of people report feeling lonely. This shows that the majority of people feel lonely at some point. Yet when you feel lonely and isolated you often think you are the only one suffering. It turns out that over half the room probably feels the same way.
Today many of us spend more time with our coworkers than we do our own family. This means that often the best opportunity we have to connect with people is at work. Yet 33% of people reported feeling a lack of connection in the workplace and almost 40% said they don’t show their true self when at work. This may reveal why so many of us feel lonely. The workplace should be the solution to our problems not a place that makes them worse. In any workspace, we have many coworkers that share a similar age, interests, talents or behavior. Yet we often don’t connect.
The study found that people suffering from loneliness take double the number of sick days at work and miss five times more days due to stress. This does not mean people are not turning up because they have no friends. Instead, it means and is proven, that loneliness is a key ingredient in stress, depression, heart disease, diabetes, and substance abuse.
If you are in a senior position in your work make sure that you encourage connections in the workplace. As it is one of the most important places in a person’s life, by bringing people closer together you may save their lives. The study also showed that entry-level and senior-levels are the worst impacted by loneliness so make sure you look after yourself as well. Whatever position you are in at your work, reach out to someone today, you never know what they are going through and your effort may make a huge difference to their lives.