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The rising epidemic of workplace loneliness and how to combat it

Dec 04 2018 • Written by Smriti Mishra

~Smriti Jha



Loneliness is an unpleasant emotional response. It has been mentioned and long studied in various psychological literature. This emotion has gravely impacted the corporate world as well, and has become a new epidemic. Furthermore, loneliness has a significant impact on work output, limiting performance and creativity, impairing reasoning and decision making.




With technology moderately slowing human interaction, lesser social life due to stretched working hours and work from home kind culture, are some of the major causes of loneliness. Lonely employees tend to isolate themselves resulting in lesser involvement in their organization. Their colleagues find them more distant and less approachable in both work and matters related with their personal lives.


It’s imperative to understand exactly how people experience loneliness in their jobs and why it affects their work productivity? How does it shape their relationships with colleagues?


How your company’s culture can overcome loneliness


A company’s culture plays significant role in expressing the values and norms about the human emotion to tackle the workload and developed stress.




Here are 4 effective ways at workplace that can assist in combating corporate loneliness.


  1. Have an approachable management team


If employee feels like the workload is spiralling out of control, encourage them to discuss it with their manager or supervisor. An approachable HR team will be highly appreciated by such employees.


  1. Unmarked the calendar


Apart from regular scheduled interdepartmental meetings, a surprised and unplanned meeting/conversation works in breaking the loneliness at workplace.



  1. Have a cup of coffee


By intentionally creating a lane from one part of a building to another or encouraging employees to converge for coffee breaks or eating together, an employer is likely to increase bonding and connections.



  1. Confidential conversation


Understanding loneliness, as a behavioural and emotional response, management can maintain the conversation with employees as safe and confidential. Providing such privacy to the employee will help boost their morale and eradicate loneliness.



Way ahead


Both employees and employers need to recognize the issue well in advance as it can damage employee engagement and their productivity. Companies who are able to find the right balance between technology and employee engagement will ultimately be successful in mitigating the solitary emotions of loneliness at workplace.

Contribute: Do write to us about any wellness program in your company that has led to noticeable gains for your employees, at