A new report, authored by the British Red Cross and Campaign to End Loneliness for the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Tackling Loneliness and Connected Community has launched today.

It explores the extent on loneliness at work in the UK, how it’s changed since the Covid-19 pandemic and provides useful insights based on a unique population-wide survey of workers experiences of loneliness and relationships at work. It underscores how different groups experience loneliness in the workplace and shows how changes at work since the Covid-19 pandemic may have affected loneliness at work.

“This report helps us see the complex challenges of loneliness at work, the inequalities that exist and some of the opportunities for personal and professional connection that the pandemic created can offer in a new hybrid world of work” explains Robin Hewings, Campaign Director, Campaign to End Loneliness.

The research also sets out a series of policy and practice changes for both employers and government to implement, including but not limited to recommending the Department for Business Energy & Industrial Strategy actively supports employers to address loneliness through reconvening their Tackling Loneliness Employers Group, better collection and sharing of best practice and improved data.

Key findings of the report

  • Over 1 in 10 workers often or always experience aspects of loneliness at work, while nearly half of workers feel lonely some of the time
  • Disabled workers and those with long-term health conditions that affect their day-to-day lives are much more likely to report general loneliness than those without (24% compared to 9)
  • 37% of workers from minoritised ethnic groups feel their colleagues are like strangers to them, compared to 37% of white workers
  • Senior managers report higher levels of general loneliness and are more likely to feel that their colleagues are like strangers – 32% of senior managers are often or always lonely, which is nearly twice the average
  • Contact with colleagues is not enough to prevent loneliness and home workers are not lonelier than those working onsite. However, 84% of onsite workers agree they feel close to their colleagues, compared to only 44% homeworkers.
  • Changes in working location during the Covid-19 restrictions led to improved personal and professional relationships for many.
  • The report sets out a series of best practice policy changes for both employers and government.

The report will be launched at an event in Parliament this afternoon, with the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Tackling Loneliness and Connected Communities, for which the Campaign to End Loneliness and the British Red Cross are the Secretariat. The event will bring together officials, sector leaders and private enterprises.