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Addressing loneliness among young employees

The UK government has launched a campaign to address the stigma around loneliness with young people. Research shows that 16-to-24 year olds are the loneliest age group, but are also the least likely to take action to help themselves. Many also hide feelings of loneliness out of worry over being judged.

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Loneliness among young people can also have an effect on a business. Loneliness in the workplace can significantly affect the performance of employees. Feelings of isolation can lead to decreased motivation, engagement, and productivity.

Loneliness may also contribute to higher levels of stress and anxiety, that knock on to work quality and overall job satisfaction. Therefore, providing an environment that nurtures the mental health and performance of young people may not just be good for them, but also good for your business.

It may therefore be worth considering whether your business can take any proactive steps. For instance, could the steps below help in your business?

  1. Encourage social interaction: Team building activities, mentorship programs, and regular social events can all help to build camaraderie. Creating opportunities for collaboration and relationship building can help young employees feel more connected to their colleagues.
  • Prioritise open communication: Encourage managers to check in regularly with their team members and build a supportive environment where employees feel comfortable expressing their feelings and concerns, whether it’s about work-related challenges or personal struggles.
  • Promote work-life balance: Striking a balance between work and personal life is essential for maintaining overall wellbeing. Could you offer flexible work arrangements, such as remote work options or flexible hours, to accommodate the different needs of young employees? Encouraging them to prioritize self-care and allocate time for activities outside of work can bring them joy and fulfilment that will positively affect their approach to work.
  • Provide mental health support: Loneliness is a normal part of life, so why not encourage employees to talk about it? Offering access to mental health resources and support services may be helpful. Educate employees about the resources available and ensure that they feel there is no stigma to seeking help for mental health issues.
  • Lead by example: Your leadership can make a big difference. By demonstrating genuine care and concern for team members you set a positive tone for the workplace and encourage others to do the same.

By taking proactive measures to address loneliness and support the wellbeing of young employees, businesses can create a more positive and fulfilling work environment where all team members feel valued, connected, and supported in their personal and professional growth.

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