In Our Workplace
10 things that businesses and organisations can do
To truly solve loneliness requires the engagement of institutions where people spend the bulk of their time: families, schools, social organizations, and the workplace. Companies in particular have the power to drive change at a societal level not only by strengthening connections among employees, partners, and clients but also by serving as an innovation hub that can inspire other organizations to address loneliness.
—Vivek Murthy 19th US Surgeon General
There is increasing evidence that social connection is an important factor in maximising wellbeing and productivity amongst workforces, and businesses can also play a role in promoting social connection in the communities in which they operate.
These suggestions for business and organisational leaders come up frequently in research and expert opinion pieces:
Consult employees to find out what’s working, and what could make it easier to feel connected at work.
Modify the physical work environment to create spaces where people can meet and mingle.
Make sure that new employees are welcomed, offered early opportunities to meet and get to know other staff, and given the training, support and mentoring they need to enable them to settle into their role.
Encourage collaboration, getting offline, and getting out from behind desks to have face-to-face interactions.
Prioritize and model work / life balance.
Pay attention to the effects of non-traditional working practices (e.g. working remotely, hot-desking, contracting), and look for ways to increase the sense of belonging and integration for workers who have irregular patterns of interaction with their colleagues.