8 Ways to Beat Loneliness in the Workplace Video
Loneliness at work can cause burnout, fatigue and emotional withdrawal. Use these eight tips to beat it for good.
Welcome to Mind Tools' video learning series.
Many of us have experienced loneliness at some point in our lives.
Often, such feelings pass as quickly as they come. But, when they don't, it can cause serious problems, such as emotional withdrawal, lack of productivity, fatigue, and burnout.
So, what can you do if you suspect that someone in your organization is suffering from loneliness?
First, take a step back and assess the situation. Try to get an idea of how disconnected he or she really feels. Use a "loneliness scale," like the one provided in the article that accompanies this video, to do this.
Next, think about whether there are any changes you could make to your office setup to encourage team togetherness. Could you create breakout spaces in your office, for example? Or, switch to an open-plan design?
Establishing a shared purpose for your team can help, too. This will give meaning to people's work and encourage them to pull together.
You can't force people to become friends, but you can create opportunities for team bonding. Is there a project that would benefit from team collaboration, for instance? Or, could you organize a team-building or social event?
Remember that it doesn't always have to be work, work, work.
Taking a genuine interest in people's families, friends and hobbies will give them a chance to be understood as individuals with unique personalities and experiences. And, it will help them to form stronger connections at work.
Don't forget the little things, though! Small comments and gestures can make a real difference. Just getting someone a coffee in the morning, for example, can be enough to show a lonely person that you care.
When someone feels tired, he or she will more likely feel lonely as well. So, watch out for overwork and exhaustion, and encourage your people to work sensible hours and take proper breaks.
Finally, don't forget your colleagues who work remotely.
Virtual co-workers are especially prone to loneliness. So, make an effort to reach out to them at the end of conference calls and to check in with them regularly, even if it's just for a quick chat.
To learn more about beating loneliness in the workplace, read the article that accompanies this video.