It's a common belief that technology sets us apart and negatively impacts human connections. What if we told you that you could help combat loneliness and isolation at work with the right digital tool? Let us explain.
Did you know that approximately 60% of employees worldwide have experienced loneliness in the workplace? This number leads to 58% carrying a stress disorder, 34% feeling unwell at work and 25% leaving their job as a result. Needless to say, this is a huge concern for employers, who must then face the damaging consequences this has on the success of their company. In the UK, workplace loneliness costs companies ￡2.5 billion a year due to low productivity, reduced output and high absence rates.
While many would argue that the prevalence of technology is the cause of our spike in workplace loneliness, there are also many ways that technology can help combat it. With the right internal tool in place, paired with the right culture implemented by management to use that tool, technology can actually reap many benefits in overcoming staff loneliness. Here’s how:
By implementing an internal tool that has strong communication features, staff and management can stay connected by sharing instant messages anytime, anywhere. This is particularly helpful for remote workers, 47% of whom report feeling isolated from their teams. With instant messaging, chats can be paired with customised stickers featuring internal company jokes or funny memes to boost the emotional and informal touch into conversations. At the same time, tools that have a broadcast feature allows management to share instant announcements to the entire workplace at one time. This helps to keep all employees in the loop of company events and updates, regardless of their job function, seniority level or location — in turn, preventing feelings of neglect or isolation.
Although in-person communication may be best for reducing loneliness, it isn’t always possible in the modern day workplace. Many employees are working remotely, managers are moving from branch to branch, and many teams are dispersed across cities or even around the world. But using technology to connect your teams together doesn’t have to feel lifeless and detached. Use a tool with features like video calls and audio clips to converse in real-time with a human touch, making catch ups feel like an in-person meeting. Checking in with your employees by dropping them a quick video call during the work day can make a huge difference in their sense of connection to the company.
These days, it can be difficult to share employee achievements to the entire workforce without going through the hassle of gathering everyone together and grabbing their attention. Because of this, hard-working employees feel neglected from going months without receiving any acknowledgement for their efforts. Using a mobile-first employee system allows you to blast public commendations to individuals or teams for their hard work anytime you want. Making this process simple and instantaneous means recognising a job well done becomes much easier and can happen more regularly, making staff feel valued in the team and see that their input is not being overlooked.
A recent Forbes article shared that 21% of remote workers feel lonely due to lack of collaboration, stating that “This means the danger of remote isolation isn’t just social, it’s informational.” Make it easy for staff to collaborate and share their input wherever they are by implementing a workplace tool with features for sharing tasks, brainstorming ideas and submitting feedback. This will prevent them from feeling cut off at work by creating a dynamic and collaborative work culture that they can contribute to at all times.
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