The Business Case for Addressing Loneliness in the Workforce

Maintaining Workplace Resilience When Change Happens Fast

Whether workers are building steel towers or programming code in open-concept office spaces, the structure, collegiality, and safety of workplaces are going to make a business more or less sustainable during a crisis. A group’s resilience is intimately connected to the many systems it depends on: human, built, regulatory, and ecological. Each of these shapes a business’s potential to grow and be profitable.

Resilience is not just something just inside individuals; it is the result of how well our environments provide the resources we need to cope with a crisis.

The best businesses seem to be able to pivot when change is required, and employ people who are willing to help. For example, online meeting applications that were once thought too risky for daily corporate communication have suddenly been adopted even by the most technologically phobic workers. And so it goes. When change is happening fast, businesses need to think about the resilience of all their interacting parts, not just the mindset of an employee or the preferences of customers…READ ON

The Business Case for Addressing Loneliness in the Workforce

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, three in five adults [PDF] reported feelings of loneliness. These feelings, as well as stress, anxiety and depression, have intensified as the pandemic lingers. They reverberate throughout daily life, impacting the desire and the ability of people to engage at home and at work.

Unsurprisingly, the impact to business performance and employers’ bottom line is significant, with costs to employers estimated at more than $154 billion annually in stress-related absenteeism alone. That’s a key finding of Cigna’s Loneliness Index data, published in the Journal of Organizational Effectiveness: People and Performance, which provides a deeper look at the costs of loneliness as well as opportunities for employers to support people, now and in the future. The study is  based on an Ipsos survey, commissioned by Cigna, of nearly 6,000 employees across the United States conducted from July 16 to August 2, 2019. The survey measured workers’ feelings of loneliness and social isolation using the UCLA Loneliness Scale, a 20-item questionnaire that indicates loneliness with a score of 43 or higher…READ ON

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