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Loneliness And Social Isolation In The Workplace – Why Does It Matter?

By Dr Paul Husselbee

In a world as connected as it is today it is perverse to think that loneliness is on the rise. Increasing numbers of us are feeling more socially isolated than ever. Loneliness can have long-lasting and damaging effects on our physical health and is a risk factor for mental illness. Mental ill health costs businesses in the UK an estimated £42-45 bn annually. Costs to companies that can be attributed as a direct result of loneliness is currently less well understood but is significant. Businesses can do much to help tackle loneliness and mental health issues within their workforce. Each business is unique, and solutions need to be tailored to the individual company but developing a culture of inclusion, encouraging staff to talk openly about problems and supporting social interaction and communities within the company can all lead to a happier, more productive workforce.

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