Workplace loneliness: is technology responsible? Loneliness is on the rise in the workplace, and it may be affecting job performance and loyalty.
According to a new research by human resource consultancy firm Future Workplace and Virgin Pulse, a company that works with organisations to enhance employee health, employees now spend half of their day communicating via technology rather than face-to-face or phone discussions.
According to the survey, slightly more than half of workers stated they are always or very frequently lonely as a consequence, which is published in Future Workplace Research Director Dan Schawbel’s new book “Back to Human: How Great Leaders Create Connection in the Age of Isolation.” Over 2,000 managers and employees in ten countries were questioned for the study.
Since the widespread use of technology in the workplace, millions of workers have opted for telecommuting, a perk that many employees value because it reduces travel time and gives them more flexibility. The study revealed that distant employees are more prone to experience loneliness and disengagement.
Workplace loneliness: is technology responsible? “The delusion of hyperconnectivity”
In an interview on the findings and his new book, Schawbel stated, “Perhaps we have gone too far — we touch our gadgets constantly and are addicted to utilising alerts and SMS.” “It gives the impression that we’re hyperconnected and have a large number of friends, yet your Facebook acquaintance might not actually be a true friend.”
What can managers do?
In “Back to Human,” Schawbel writes that for managers, this means accepting that managing distant workers requires more than just depending on collaborative technology like email. To assist develop such interpersonal relationships, he suggested that managers reach out to their distant staff by phone, in-person visits, and teleconferencing.
It’s a topic that’s near to Schawbel’s heart, as he’s been a remote worker for the past eight years. Although the freedom is appealing, he acknowledged that establishing personal relationships may be difficult, prompting him to reconsider how he interacts with clients and coworkers.
The loneliest employees
According to the survey, certain workers are more lonely and isolated than others. Men, introverts, and younger employees fare the worst, according to Schawbel, which reflects both cultural shifts and the problems that particular groups confront.
Although introverts might not require as much outward stimulation as extroverts, they nevertheless want interpersonal touch. And, because they like working alone, they may be more prone to engage in distant work, resulting in increased isolation.
Trying to make connections
Managers should be aware of these feelings of isolation, since poor involvement may lead to people looking for jobs. According to the report, 60% of those polled indicated they would be more inclined to stay with their business longer if they had more workplace buddies.
Employee connections may be strengthened by providing a pleasant environment. This might include determining what drives your employees and recruiting for personality match, as well as conducting a new assessment of your workplace environment by asking employees what design modifications would make it more friendly, according to “Back to Human.”
Companies that “feel like a family” are ranked as “best places to work” in numerous studies, according to Schawbel. Workers and supervisors who don’t think about how they connect with their coworkers are wasting their time. “They may believe they’re OK because the technology is almost fooling them. However, as a result, the relationships grow a bit weaker.”