According to new research from Perkbox, workplace friendships are suffering as many people continue to work from home. In fact, the data found that 65% of workplace friendships are struggling, which is increasingly troubling as loneliness continues to plague employees who are feeling isolated when working remotely.
The research also found that 45% of respondents believe maintaining emotional wellbeing is one of the biggest challenges of remote working.
Additionally, 54% of the 1,296 respondents stated that social wellbeing is one of the most significant wellbeing challenges in a remote working environment. This marks an 18% increase from Perkbox’s study conducted in the previous month.
However, 12% of business leaders view the social wellbeing of employees to be a large challenge. Even more, only 20% believe that supporting emotional wellbeing is an issue that should be addressed.
“Many organisations pre-COVID either didn’t pay much attention to friendships at work or focused on it as a way to ensure that it didn’t create any conflicts within the organisation. Today, we’re realising that strong colleague interactions seem to matter to an employee’s social and emotional wellbeing,” said Mona Akiki, VP of People at Perkbox. “Remote work appears to have created nervousness around our sense of connectivity and camaraderie with our colleagues.”
In short, leaders need to accept the direct impact that poor workplace wellbeing can have on productivity and create a strategy that supports the health of workers, particularly those who are experiencing isolation.