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You might think in this world where we’re all so connected that loneliness would be a thing of the past. These days we can pick up our mobile phone and instantly catch up with friends and family, even if they’re on the other side of the world. However, reports show that loneliness is actually a problem that is increasing. Perhaps it this online world, and a lack of real-life communication that is causing us to feel so alone?
Studies show that loneliness in the workplace is common, with half of CEOs feeling lonely. People feel isolated in their workplace which in turn increases stress levels which can have an adverse effect on health. The working environment can have a huge impact on banishing feelings of loneliness and here are five ways in which to improve your workspaces to ensure that loneliness does not adversely affect your workplace.
1. Create social spaces
Even in the smallest of offices, social spaces can be made where staff can gather. Even a window ledge can be converted into a perch seating area and made into a pleasant spot. A lounge area to take time out, a quiet spot for working and thinking away from the hubbub of the main office areas. Workers will be more productive with pleasant surroundings and a choice of social areas to pick from as the mood takes them. Creating these spaces encourages communication which helps with office relationships and collaboration and also helps to decrease feelings of isolation and loneliness.
2. Encourage interaction
With careful planning of your office space, you can ensure that workers interact more often. Perhaps an area for coffee and snacks where everyone can gather. Meetings and even staff parties and events are times for conversation, but when those conversations are impromptu, with no expectations, this is where friendships are born. When staff are friends as well as colleagues, greater levels of tolerance and a higher ability to work as a team will ensue.
3. Transform your works canteen
If you have a dining area in your workplace, probably little thought has gone into the aesthetics. It’s merely a place to eat and then get on with the work. But make it a pleasant environment and the staff will use it, to eat, to socialise and to engage with each other. Many great ideas have been thought up over a bite to eat and a coffee with colleagues.
4. Take care of your remote workers
These days many workplaces have employees who are out in the field or who work from their own home. It’s important that these distributed members of the team feel part of the group. Access to in-office cameras can make them feel that they are with you, and this is especially important in a meeting. While video conferencing with remote workers, take a little extra time to just chat and socialise as you would if they were physically in the room.
5. Offer peace and privacy
While social spaces are important, sometimes a little peace, quiet and solitude can work wonders too. Ensure your workplace has somewhere to escape to. To concentrate on a tricky project or just to take a breather.
Get in touch for further advice
If you’d like more help with ensuring your workplace is ideal for reducing feelings of loneliness with your staff, get in touch with EKA Group today.