March 6, 2024

Loneliness- A Rising Epidemic and its Effect on the Workplace

As recent reports show a rise in loneliness among young adults, did you know that this might be the next epidemic? Based on the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey, Australians aged 15 to 24 have experienced a rise in loneliness, since 2008 and has increased by 24.8% in 2021. Let’s discuss in this article its definition, possible effects, and how can workplaces help their workers feel belong.

According to Dr. Michell Lim (Scientific Chair of the Australian Coalition to End Loneliness),

Loneliness is a feeling of being disconnected from others and refers to a negative perception of one’s relationships. Loneliness can have an impact on one’s physical and mental health which affects their social interactions.

Post-COVID-19 is not a singular explanation for why loneliness occurs as it has been consistently prevalent even before the pandemic.

Sophie Hampel, a Registered Psychologist, wrote an article that presents data from the 2019 Workplace Loneliness Report. It says that 37% of Australian workers report feeling lonely at work and only 9% feel comfortable about workplace relationships. With the alarming rate, loneliness in the workplace is a serious matter that should not be neglected. Here are some areas showing the effect of loneliness in the workplace:

1. Productivity

The 2019 Workplace Loneliness report by Australian HR think tank Reventure reported that 38% of lonely workers produced more errors at work. Meanwhile, 40% were less productive, and 48% were less committed to the workplace vision and values (46%).

2. Turnover rate

It seems to be a domino effect: loneliness leads employees to be dissatisfied with their job which makes them unproductive. In turn, sick leaves and absenteeism are prevalent which eventually makes the employees leave the company.

3. Team Culture

As loneliness is correlated with isolation, lonely workers are disengaged and distant which significantly impacts the team culture. They are not communicative, less approachable, and unwilling to work in a group.

4. Mental and physical health

There are several studies on how loneliness is related to health problems such as alcohol abuse, dementia, depression, Alzheimer’s disease and sleep problems. Lonely workers may suffer from poor well-being and may report to work irregularly.

How The Recruitment Alternative Supports Both Jobseekers and Businesses

By actively taking part in team activities and corporate events, lonely workers can create a feeling of community and belongingness at work. These occasions provide great chances to build professional and personal connections with co-workers. People can share their ideas and experiences in a more inclusive setting by establishing open channels of communication and looking for peer or mentorship help.

Employers can also make a big difference by encouraging an inclusive and acknowledging culture where all workers feel important and heard. Through these actions, isolated and lonely employees can create lasting connections and experience a greater sense of belonging within their company.

Moreover, working with a recruitment agency like The Recruitment Alternative can help match employers and workers that fit each other’s values and goals which will contribute to a healthy and positive workplace culture.

Feel free to visit our Job Seekers page for more tips or to find your next role towards an interactive and positive culture! Contact us at 1300 548 546 or via

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