Tackling loneliness at work benefits both employers and employees, according to a new report published by the Campaign to End Loneliness on behalf of the Government’s Tackling Loneliness Network’s employers group.

With the cost of loneliness to UK employers estimated to be £2.5 billion every year¹, the Campaign was commissioned by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to find out more about the main ways to tackle loneliness at work. Employers and Loneliness was drawn from consultation with a network of businesses and employers who have been involved in addressing loneliness at work.

Employers and Loneliness found that there are five main strands in tackling loneliness at work:

  1. Culture and infrastructure:  Identifying what really matters to employees and aligning with corporate values and embedding loneliness into other wellbeing and welfare activities.
  2. Management:  The kinds of support and guidance which can help managers to identify and help the people working for them who are experiencing loneliness and the training that managers might need.
  3. People and networks. How people have used networks to tackle loneliness including whilst working remotely.
  4. Work and workplace design.  How employers have tackled a dispersed workforce and the tools and systems which can promote visibility and connections.
  5. 5.Wider role in the community.  How some employers have sought to tackle loneliness beyond our immediate workforce

Robin Hewings, Programme Director of the Campaign said:

“Loneliness can have a devastating impact on our mental and physical health, and we have seen some groups of people really hit hard by loneliness through the recent pandemic.  But loneliness impacts on our whole lives, including our wellbeing at work.

“Employers and the UK economy pays a price when a lack of social connection and loneliness at work means employees show less commitment and productivity and greater absenteeism and staff turnover.

“The report contains examples of good practice and learning and maps them onto what we know about loneliness and ways to alleviate it. It is not a detailed “how to” guide but the starting point of a wider conversation about what organisations can do to address loneliness.’