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Quick Tips: Reducing Loneliness in the Workplace

It can improve staff wellbeing, retention and productivity.

Despite the belief technology is bringing us closer, loneliness is a major issue in our workplaces. A recent survey of more than 2000 managers and employees across 10 countries found at least half the respondents felt lonely at work.

This is something workplaces should try to reduce if they want to keep their staff. As many as 60 per cent of survey respondents said they would be more inclined to stay in their jobs if they had friends in the office.

Staff’s output and work ethic can also be effected by it; the survey found employees are up to 20 per cent more productive at work when they feel connected to their colleagues.

So what should you do as a manager to ensure you get the best from your staff? Here are some ways to make everyone in the office feel more connected.

Consider the office design

Ensure no one is positioned remotely. Arrange the furniture and desks so people walk past others when moving around. But keep in mind to not create any traffic hotspots. And if you still have those office cubicles from the ’80s, it might be time to consider becoming open planned.

Take it offline

Communicate with your colleagues in person. If you can walk around the office to pass on a message, do it. If you’re tossing up between an email and a phone call, ring them. And while face-to-face meetings can be time consuming, they do encourage workplace interconnectivity.

Organise a group activity

Encourage interactivity by hosting’s work events, organising office sporting teams or simply coordinating group lunches. This may mean opening the petty cash tin every now and then, but it will make the office feel more like a community and help improve productivity.

If your wellbeing is severely impacted in the workplace or you’re stuck in a rut, consider talking to Lifeline on 13 11 14

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