Nearly half of UK workers have experienced loneliness during lockdown, with women (50%) and younger people (74%) found to be the most adversely affected.
The Totaljobs report revealed that 7 in 10 workers found the loneliness they’ve experienced had a negative effect on their overall wellbeing with their sleep, eating habits, stress levels and self-esteem impacted.
Interestingly, half of workers on furlough say they have had a ‘wake-up call’ having realised just how important work has been for their social lives.
Stephen Warnham, Job Expert at Totaljobs, commented, “Employers have an important role to play in helping to develop the social confidence of our staff, especially given the challenging circumstances of the past six months. Whilst we have needed to adapt, the reality is that we are all going to go through change again as we settle into a ‘new normal’.
“However, with such change comes a responsibility to prioritise and maintain those important everyday social factors that make coming to work enjoyable, engaging and rewarding for so many.”
He added, “By providing staff, particularly those who have been adversely affected by loneliness, with a working environment that continues to encourage social interaction both during and after the lockdown period, businesses can ensure that nobody misses out on the opportunity to lay the groundwork for the kinds of skills they will need to excel throughout their careers.
“Employers have a duty of care. Today’s results illustrate the majority of staff who experience loneliness believe it has a negative impact on their working lives. Individuals who end up feeling disconnected or isolated in this way naturally aren’t going to perform to the best of their abilities; they may even choose to leave a role which is negatively impacting their wellbeing.
“By taking steps to look after and maintain the social wellbeing of our teams, especially at a time when staff are likely to find themselves working remotely, employers can create workplaces that help staff feel more content in their roles, wherever they may be.”
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