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Loneliness at work is real… and it's harming you big time

Birds on four electrical wires, with one bird sitting away from the others.

Almost half of all Australian workers are feeling lonely at work, harming their own mental wellbeing as well as productivity.

The Workplace Loneliness report commissioned by human resources organisation Reventure showed 40 per cent of Australians felt isolated at work, but only 9 per cent felt comfortable consulting their HR division about workplace relationship concerns.

Reventure managing director Dr Lindsay McMillan said Australia is falling behind in addressing the issue.

"Other countries have responded to this public health concern. The United Kingdom, for example, has appointed a Minister for Loneliness and announced the first ever ‘Employer Pledge’ to tackle workplace loneliness."

The harmful effects of loneliness were shown in stark numbers, such as 36 per cent of lonely people reporting more sickness than those not feeling lonely, 38 per cent making more mistakes than their colleagues and 40 per cent of isolated workers feeling less productive than their counterparts.

"One of the most alarming findings in Workplace Loneliness is how workers believe workplace leaders and HR teams have not acted on the growing epidemic," said McMillan.

"Workplaces can and must take charge to design and implement support systems and structures to reduce – and end – workplace loneliness once and for all."

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