How to Overcome Workplace Loneliness

How to Overcome Workplace Loneliness

Employees in any profesion, at all levels can suffer from loneliness (isolation) at work, and that really goes for everyone. Those in senior roles often carry huge amounts of resposibility and can feel like the only one with the answer which isolates them out of everyone else. Interns could struggle to intergrate themselves into a new experience of the working enviroment. Longstanding employees often feel disenganged, especialy if they have been in the same role for years or not been given other opportunities. What can employers as well as employees do about workplace loneliness and enhance team togetherness?

Making sure team members are not isolated is extremely important. But it can also be difficult to keep on top of.  Feelings can be hard to spot if people are not vocal or show obvious physical signs of seperation from the team. This is even harder if you have remote workers.


Despite this, there are several positive measure employers and employees can put in place to successfully keep teams together and combat workplace loneliness.


Focus on Engagement

It might sound simple but employee engagement correlates with job satisfaction, which in return has a big impact on performance. Though, without a sense  of belonging, it is difficult for people to feel fully engaged. Managers need to understand what motivates team members both on an individual and group level. Handing out meaningful rewards and incentives is a great way to boost engagement!

That being said, it is more about overall employee experience than just giving the odd gift card for good performance. The increasing consumerisation of HR means workers now tend to seek benefits like a good company culture. For example, taking on a sense of trust among  all employees is well received  in terms of engagement and reduces feelings of isolation.



Siloes may be breaking down in the modern workplace. But there is still the risk of individuals in teams becoming isolated, as well as teams becoming distant and uninvolved with each other. Particularly if a demanding workload means there is not much time for staff to comunicate.

One way to approach this is to encourage meetings both in small team and as a larger group. But be careful as too many meetings can leave employees worrying about not having enough time to finish their work. However, small catch-ups and check-ins ensure everyone is on the same page. They allow people to share ideas frequently and to be involved in giving and receiving peer recognition.

Another idea to reduce isolation is encouraging employees to leave their desks at lunch and sit together. Or, if you are remote, have a virtual coffee or breakfast call. The benefits of taking proper time out during the working day and having a chance to relax in an informal setting are huge. These things prevent people from becoming too consumed by their work and disconnected from others.


There are many ways on how to make your colleagues feel more involved but i think the two main points are “engagement” & “encouragement”. Remember, the responsibility is not only with the employer but also for the employees. We all have a part to play when it comes to making our working enviroment a little more positive!


Quick Facts

Why people feel lonely:

  • Feeling Pressure – 44%
  • Not Fitting In – 42%
  • Isolating Themselves – 32%
  • Not Knowing Anyone – 26%
  • Mental Health Problems – 23%
  • Facing Discrimination – 21%

Who people tell:

  • Friends
  •  – 35%
  • Partner – 34%
  • Manager – 10%
  • HR – 4%
  • No one – 34%

Why people do not tell anyone at work:

  • Lack of Trust in Colleagues – 13%
  • Fear of Nagative Career Impact – 13%
  • Colleagues Do not Need to Know – 11%
  • Embarresment – 9%

What the Consequences Are:

  • Regularly Call in Sick – 31%
  • Quit Their Job – 26%
  • Think Their Company Does not Do Enough to Combat Loneliness – 63%



Further Reading:

Ways to Make a Good Impression in Your New Job

Ways to Make Sure Your Colleagues Like You

Employers & Employees: Friendly Workplace to increase Performances

Giampiero Di Tizio

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