Who are your loneliest employees – and how can you help them?
The answer (perhaps not surprisingly) is that it’s your 100% full-time remote employees.
This is according to Gallup researchers, who recently looked at these questions in light of changes in actual work locations.
Two years into the pandemic, and even with adjustments to make remote work better, employees at home still feel isolated.
The reason is that social well-being is one of the “foundational elements of a thriving overall life,” according to the study. And an engaging workplace is an important part of that. So, employers want to do everything they can to keep their employees connected and engaged. Because, like we said before, unhappy employees are unproductive employees and they’re more likely to leave. When employees have good friendships at work, it makes it harder to walk away.
3 tactics to reduce loneliness
Here are a couple of tactics to help remote employees feel less isolated and lonely:
- Focus on their strengths. Employees who are aware of their strengths and able to share and leverage them are less likely to feel lonely, researchers found.
- Encourage respect among co-workers. One way to do this is by creating a work environment that promotes fairness and accountability. Doing so can reduce loneliness because co-workers are more likely to respect each other’s work.
- Foster friendships. Employees don’t leave human nature behind when they’re on the job. They still crave connections at work, regardless of if it’s on Zoom or in person. Give them time to socialize, because Gallup found that an important business outcome predictor is having friendships at work.
So, for those employees who are still working 100% remotely, send them reminders of the benefits your company offers that can help with their socialization, like gym memberships and employee resource groups. Also, send everyone reminders about the mental health benefits available to them.