There is a loneliness epidemic at work: are you suffering?
While remote work has undoubtedly helped workers recalibrate the balance between work and life, it has also contributed to increased loneliness.
A new report authored by the British Red Cross and Campaign to End Loneliness for the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Tackling Loneliness and Connected Community found that over 10% of British workers often or always experience aspects of loneliness at work, while nearly half of workers feel lonely some of the time.
The statistics are even more stark for disabled workers or those with long-term health conditions (24%), and ethnic minorities in particular reported high levels of loneliness at 37%, compared to 27% of white workers.
Although physical proximity to colleagues isn’t an automatic remedy for feeling isolated or a foolproof way to form connections, it can help: 84% of onsite workers saying they felt closer to their colleagues compared to 44% of those who work fully remotely.
However, the report also suggests that it’s up to employers to implement strategies to combat loneliness at work, and this starts by fostering a sense of belonging.
Why belonging matters
In a large organisation, this responsibility falls on the HR department that looks after diversity and inclusion.
However, in smaller companies it’s usually up to individual managers to actively encourage an inclusive culture that cultivates a sense of belonging that should work to combat loneliness along with any sort of age, gender, racial or sexual orientation inequality.
A separate study by Gartner found that one way to do this is through benefits and initiatives – and that by providing both it increases feelings of inclusion by 38%.
Encouraging employee engagement is another way employers can help foster a sense of belonging within the workplace and this can be done in a number of ways including performance reviews so you know where you stand within your team, and what you need to do to progress within the company.
Employee engagement can be developed by structuring meetings in a more interactive or collaborative way so that all workers, even those that work remotely, are actively involved and informed about what is happening day-to-day.
Mentorship is another method that can be used to alleviate loneliness and feeling removed from your colleagues. It also provides younger staff members in particular with a sense of belonging, and helps them to feel that they have a trusting relationship with a more senior member of staff.
However, sometimes the only way to make real and lasting change is to look for a new challenge in a company that puts its employees front and centre. If that is the case, the TechInformed Job Board is the perfect place to start your search. It features thousands of opportunities in companies that are currently hiring, like the three below.
Senior cloud engineer, Roku, Cardiff
The central infrastructure engineering team is looking for highly skilled infrastructure and software engineers to help develop and drive Roku’s service mesh hosting architecture and observability platform. As a senior cloud engineer you will help build the next generation of Roku’s system/services observability platform, identify and standardise on existing and new observability tools as part of a holistic solution and contribute to the platform’s capabilities. As such, you will perform feature/functionality, contribute new open-source tools, and design and build automation around the chosen tools to make onboarding new services easy for developers. View more details here.
Research software engineer, Climate & Sustainability, IBM, London
IBM research scientists are charting the future of artificial intelligence, creating breakthroughs in quantum computing and discovering how blockchain will reshape the enterprise. As a research software engineer your responsibilities will include developing, operationalising, and scaling IBM’s toolkits and modelling ecosystem, working with complex materials datasets and large climate datasets for discovery and making them consumable in science and business. The work location for this role is either Daresbury Labs or Hursley Labs for a minimum of three days a week. See the full job description here.
Software engineer, Spendesk, London
Spendesk is looking for a software engineer to join its Finance Controller squad which is responsible for delivering high quality features with high product impact. The finance controller squad is responsible for ensuring spend is accurately tracked towards every business objective. The team is composed of three engineers, a product manager and a product designer and in this role you will implement secure, reliable and scalable solutions, improve technical architecture and develop backend features as well as assuming responsibility for all aspects of them: technical design, development, testing, documentation, deployment, and maintainability. Get additional information here.
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