Why do I feel lonely at work? What can be the ways to beat loneliness in the workplace? Is it possible to be friendly with my coworkers or teammates? How can I start a conversation to develop good relations? Is this loneliness affecting my life and health?
These are some queries everyone can relate to in their professional life at least once.
In this digital world, no one has time for others and everyone is busy dealing with their lives. The workplace environment should be positive and friendly because most of the time is spent there, but unfortunately, many employees feel lonely at work. It is necessary to know about the ways to beat loneliness in the workplace for a supporting and positive work environment.
Because when workers are feeling left out at work, their performance and working abilities diminish over time. Therefore, understanding the need to reduce loneliness at work by incorporating ways to beat loneliness in the workplace is crucial. Before moving ahead to learn the tips on how to combat loneliness, first, understand the meaning of loneliness.
What is loneliness?
“Loneliness” is a negative feeling or state when someone feels isolated, lonely, and disengaged from other workers. Loneliness is a personal feeling and it is not necessary that everyone feels the same. It is a distressing state when you perceive the feeling of being left out at work and getting inadequate attention from others.
According to the fact of being social beings, everyone wants to be connected and engaged with others, develop good relations, and make new friends but many times go through loneliness at work.
In a recent webcast, researchers find out that loneliness and isolation have the same bad effects on health as smoking 15 cigarettes in a day.
Workplace loneliness is a rising issue among other issues including conflict at work, racism, gender discrimination, and harassment at the workplace. It is the duty of both the employees and employers to reduce alienation in the workplace and pursue some ways to beat loneliness in the workplace.
When you feel loneliness, it is an opportunity to reconnect with yourself and others, Maxime Lagace says.
Employers should observe their staff and take steps for their betterment if they are feeling lonely and isolated at work. When employers work for the well-being of their employees, the employees also work hard, stay loyal, bring productivity to their work, and try to be more efficient and active.
Workplace loneliness and mental health are interrelated and for good mental health follow the mentioned tips and ways to beat loneliness in the workplace which will help you overcome loneliness at work.
Causes of loneliness
Loneliness is a negative but individual emotion, and it can have various causes. You can feel lonely over a thing or some gestures or behavior which are not that big to others but you are feeling it in this way.
Some reasons that give rise to loneliness in the workplace and for which you should learn ways to beat loneliness in the workplace are the following.
- You are being ignored and isolated by your coworkers with a purpose.
- Not having a close friend to share your routine and interests with can make you feel lonely.
- It can happen that because of your behavior, others stay away from you.
- You feel isolated at work if you are the only one uninvited for social gatherings.
- Not getting any appreciation or consideration for your efforts and hard work by any coworker or boss.
- Maybe you are not in the right job that you like to do.
- Not having a proper understanding of the workplace culture can cause loneliness.
Many more can be the severe reasons that increase workplace loneliness. Every organization should be aware of the ways to beat loneliness in the workplace for its success and welfare.
Effects of loneliness in the workplace
Fostering a positive work environment is necessary to avoid the feelings of loneliness in the workplace. Workplace loneliness has devastating effects on the professional as well as personal life and this issue is increasing day by day.
According to research, 61% of Americans that is about three in five people are feeling lonely.
Mostly, the people who are working remotely or have distinct time schedules feel loneliness more than others. There is a great connection between loneliness with your physical and mental health as well. If not overcome and controlled, these feelings of workplace loneliness lead to stress, depression, and anxiety.
The key findings of the research show that 12% of workers suffering from loneliness believe that their work performance is decreased and their work is of lower quality. These lonely workers also think more about quitting their jobs as compared to non-lonely workers.
When people feel lonely they should be aware of the ways to beat loneliness in the workplace because due to these negative feelings, they stop interacting with others and avoid attending any social gatherings.
Furthermore, it affects their relationships, and due to no participation in the team-building activities, their loneliness gets a boost. When workers are feeling left out at work, they suffer from self-doubts, depression, and even thoughts of suicide.
Loneliness can lead to not only mental health issues but is also detrimental to your physical health. Due to workplace loneliness, people become addicted to drugs and other bad habits that can weaken their physical health.
A systematic review and meta-analysis of a study concluded that Isolation and Loneliness are high-risk factors for having a stroke and coronary heart diseases.
The effects of isolation in the workplace are also harmful to the organization because it decreases work performance, productivity in the work, and engagement of the employees.
Due to the lack of proper attention and connection with others, employees do not get a chance of communicating effectively, which is a key factor for any organization’s success. The employees feel no interest and motivation to do work and have no happiness in accomplishing their tasks.
These are all the devastating effects of isolation in the workplace and clearly explain the importance of learning how to combat loneliness and ways to beat loneliness in the workplace for fostering a positive work environment.
Ways to beat loneliness in the workplace
Thinking about how to combat loneliness? And how to process difficult emotions? Don’t worry, you are at the right place. Here, I have shared some incredible ways to beat loneliness in the workplace that can help you in this regard.
1. Accept this feeling and face it
Many employees feel workplace loneliness due to emotional withdrawal from the organization but they are unaware of it and do not assess their situation. They never talk about it to anyone to present themselves strong.
But because they are afraid to display themselves as a weak person, they hide their loneliness to avoid judgment from others. It is among the best ways to beat loneliness in the workplace that you have to accept what you feel. There is no shame to talk about it if you are alienated at work.
2. Promote face to face interaction
You need to develop good behaviors and effective communication skills to stop feeling alone at work. Whenever you feel tired after working for hours, take a walk and meet in person with your colleagues whenever possible. Learn the art of giving compliments and interacting with others.
Organizations are facing the rise in workplace loneliness because they have no co-workers network and face-to-face interaction system. Most conversations are done through chats or email digitally.
According to a report survey in 2016, 89% of the respondents of research said that face-to-face interactions are the best way to interact with others at work.
Face-to-face interactions are the best ways to beat loneliness in the workplace and you can understand others in a better way by observing their gestures and nonverbal cues.
3. Break the ice and initiate conversation
Instead of merely going and doing the work at the workplace, also encourage good and healthy connections there. If you are feeling lonely at the workplace, don’t wait for others to come and talk. Maybe they are feeling the same and want an initiative from others.
So, be confident and initiate the conversation about their work, hobbies, life, interests, etc.
The importance of communication skills in the workplace is enormous and it let you build good relations with your coworkers. Actively listen to them and let them say what they want.
In this way, by having a conversation, you can beat your loneliness and can also make someone feel comfortable in the workplace.
4. Reward employees to boost morale
Loneliness can occur when you are working in a busy environment and have many people around you but no one is there for you. You never attain any credit from your boss or no appreciation from your coworkers.
It is the responsibility of managers and higher authorities to track the situation of their workers and take measures by following the ways to beat loneliness in the workplace.
An employee performs the best when he truly understands the value of his work and gets appreciation for his efforts, Abhishek Ratna says.
There should be rewards for the employees for their achievements and when they observe that their work is being valued, their workplace loneliness will get declined. Appreciation can boost morale, motivate to put more effort, brings efficiency to the work, and makes employees loyal to the organization.
5. Change your schedule if possible
Workplace isolation and mental health are interlinked and therefore when you are exhausted from too much work, you feel lonely. Employees who have separate work schedules or seating arrangements than other employees might feel more lonely. The workers who work remotely also feel isolated from the rest of the workers.
So, one of the best ways to beat loneliness in the workplace is to change your work schedule if it is possible. And if it is not, you can be grateful for this, because now you can work attentively with full concentration while you have no one around you.
6. Volunteer to help others at work
Looking for how to beat loneliness and find your inner peace? Do volunteer work as much as possible. Doing good for others and helping them in different things is beneficial in developing good and long-term relationships with others.
According to research, people who have strong social relationships have a 50% increased chance of survival as compared to people with weak social relationships.
It is a great opportunity for you to get close to your team members by doing random acts of kindness. The effects of isolation in the workplace are demotivating and demoralizing, but volunteering is one of the great ways to beat loneliness in the workplace and a great habit of happiness.
7. Organize and attend social gatherings
Team building activities and small get together play an important role in fostering a positive work environment and developing a team atmosphere. Whenever you are invited for a social event or small celebration, attend these to enjoy with your coworkers.
Planning and organizing a small party after working hours, or inviting your colleagues for a cup of coffee leads to a good step toward building a team atmosphere.
When you have such gatherings, you can get updates about the organization, can discuss your problems, and meet with other employees having different work schedules or working remotely. This is one of the good ways to beat loneliness in the workplace.
8. Maintain an empathetic and friendly attitude
Thinking about how to combat loneliness? Have you noticed your behavior? Do you consider why are you feeling lonely? Maybe it is due to your behavior.
Think about it and be a friendly, supportive, empathetic, and kind person.
According to Ellen DeGeneres, When you stay positive, it makes a great difference in your life.
Take interest in others’ lives, and listen to them actively. When you behave rudely to others, it leaves a negative impression of you and they prefer to stay away from you.
But when you are a friendly person, everyone wants to talk to you and spend time with you. Thus, it is one of the ways to beat loneliness in the workplace that can never go wrong to reduce workplace loneliness.
Read more about how to deal with toxic people at work? to encourage positive working life.
Here I have shared some frequently asked questions related to the ways to beat loneliness in the workplace.
Q: Why do I feel so alone at work?
Feeling alone at work can be due to many different reasons including unfair behavior of coworkers, lack of good work relationships, inadequate amount of communication, etc. Maybe you feel alone at work because of too much work that makes you exhausted.
Q: What are some ways to decrease loneliness?
Decreasing loneliness can be done by finding something interesting to do and engaging yourself. If you are feeling lonely, do what you love to do. Go for spending time on your hobbies and enjoy your own company.
Also, look around yourself, come out of your zone and make new friends. Initiate communication to reduce your loneliness and develop good relationships.
Q: How do you tell if a coworker is trying to sabotage you?
When a coworker is trying to sabotage you, he starts talking bad about you to others. He never admits his fault and always makes you feel guilty even when you have not done anything wrong. Most of the time, he takes credit for your efforts and has no appreciation for your work. It is better to be alone than to be with a coworker who sabotages your character.
Q: What to do when you’re lonely and have no friends?
You can be happy without friends whether in your personal life or at work. Learn how to be happy alone without friends and ways to beat loneliness in the workplace to effectively deal with your loneliness.
Be your own best friend and spend time with yourself by doing your favorite things. Spend time with your family members and siblings if you have no friends because they are your biggest support system.
Q: What to do when there’s no one to talk to?
You can take this aspect of your life positively and think about the good things if you have no one to talk to you. You can work more productively and actively when you are alone.
Also, you can enjoy doing your favorite things and spend time with yourself. If you want to talk to someone, call any closed one or family member to say what is in your heart.
Loneliness kills you if you take it to your head and mind. Stop being afraid of being alone and enjoy yourself. Nobody cares and in the end, it is just you. And if you want to socialize and improve your social interactions, the above-mentioned ways to beat loneliness in the workplace can help you. Hopefully, you will start enjoying your time in the workplace.