As people made the swift transition to remote working, reports of increased mental health issues due to loneliness grew.
According to anonymous professional network Blind, over half of workers said they felt lonely when working from home, and research has indicated that loneliness leads to decreased satisfaction.
“The trends shaping how we work — increasing use of technology, more telecommuting and the always-on work culture — are leaving Americans more stressed, less rested, spending more time on social media and less time with friends and family,” said David Cordani, CEO of global health services firm Cigna. “For the business community, it is resulting in less engagement, less productivity and lower retention levels.”
Even prior to the pandemic, loneliness was becoming a growing problem. A pre-pandemic survey from Cigna found that 80% of Gen Z employees felt lonely at work, compared to 71% of millennials and 50% of baby boomers.
Not only has isolation largely hindered employees’ mental health, but many have either been furloughed, laid off or even lost family members due to COVID-19. This trauma is lingering as the holidays approach, which are known for leading to increased mental health issues.
That is why companies should make an effort to offer an empathetic ear during these times, and let employees know that they are being heard and understood.
Offering employees access to tools and resources is a great way to help workers nurture their mental health. Doing so also shows workers that their needs are prioritized and can lead to improved job satisfaction.