This week [15-19 June] is Loneliness Awareness Week which is aimed to raise awareness of a taboo issue that often does not get spoken about.
The goal is to empower everyone to understand loneliness one conversation at a time; understanding how to recognise it in yourself and others, whilst recognising loneliness as a normal emotion felt by all but talked about by few.
Covid-19 impacting mental wellbeing
Health and wellbeing has been topical for businesses throughout the Covid-19 pandemic to ensure that their colleagues and staff are okay. More so then ever, business owners are encouraged to understand such issues including loneliness, and speak openly about it.
Even the Prime Minister recently announced that people who are living alone can spend the night at another house to combat loneliness. A step in the right direction.
What can team leaders, managers, and business owners do to combat loneliness and improve mental wellbeing in the workplace?
It is a common misconception that loneliness is limited to older people. In fact, it is now the 16-24-year old’s who are the loneliest age group in the UK with two thirds (66.5%) of professionals aged 35-44 feel lonely at work.
Since a work environment is a place where people spend the most time with their colleagues, and in some instances, the only occasion in the day for human interaction, the recent change of circumstance such as workers furloughed, remote working or redundancy can have a significant impact on a person’s mental wellbeing.
Business owners have previously been given advice on how to protect employee’s wellbeing whilst they are working remotely.
Other tips to consider:
- Be mindful that no two colleagues are the same, everyone has different needs which need to be identified
- Stay connected with your colleagues, use the internet to reach out
- Have compassion and empathy, be sensitive to others
- Highlight regularly that support is available – including confidential third-party charities
Monitor ‘back to work’ mental health
Stanley has been managing mental wellbeing in the workplace for many corporations and businesses in the UK. The MindCheck online survey tool enables employers to monitor the emotional health of employees continuously and remotely, to improve individual and company wellbeing. It helps to identify vulnerable team members and enable them to be supported appropriately.