Business can also suffer

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Americans’ work experience can have an effect on how lonely they are, according to a recently released report.

The study, which involved questions based on the UCLA Loneliness Scale — a  20-item questionnaire developed to assess subjective feelings of loneliness or social isolation — found that in 2019, 61 percent of Americans were lonely. That total is 7 percent higher than the year before.

The study also found employees who don’t have good relationships with colleagues in the workplace are 10 points lonelier than ones who do.

Employees who don’t feel they have a good work-life balance are almost seven points lonelier than people who say their time in and outside of work is fairly balanced.

In addition to affecting employees, workplace loneliness can also negatively impact a company’s overall business.

More than one in ten lonely employees feel their work is a lower quality than it should be. In an average month, lonely workers also think about quitting their job more than twice as often as other employees.

Preventing People from Feeling Completely Isolated at Work

While loneliness can be an issue for both employees and their employer, the study’s findings suggests workplace culture can help combat the situation.

Employees tend to be less lonely, for instance, if they don’t feel like they have to hide their true selves at work. Being able to make meaningful connections with coworkers through technology was found to raise loneliness scores by four points.

Friendly work relationships can also reduce feelings of seclusion and being disconnected.

Employees who have colleagues they like to eat lunch with received a lower loneliness scale score. Having a best friend at work resulted in a loneliness score that was six points higher than the total employees who don’t consider any coworkers to be a close friend received.

For more on the study’s findings about workplace loneliness, view this infographic or download a copy of the report.

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