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Thursday, November 18, 2021

6 Warning Signs You Might Be Isolated At Work

A study reported some shocking findings when it comes to feeling isolated at work. It appears that loneliness at work is on the rise for both Boomers and Gen Xers, with a significant increase from 2018. The study also found that three in five Americans (61%) consider themselves lonely at work. 

Lonely workers are twice as likely to miss a day of work due to illness and are five times as likely to miss work due to stress. These findings have significant impacts on businesses. Individuals who feel isolated at work are less engaged, feel less productive at work, and have lower retention levels.

Those who feel isolated for prolonged periods should consult with a psychotherapist for mental health guidance. If you are feeling isolated at work, here are some warning signs to look out for:

Lack of Connection with Coworkers

Feeling isolated at work is probably the worst you’ll experience in a workplace environment. When there’s a lack of connection among coworkers, it’s easy to feel isolated. You report to your desk or office and get started on your work. You find that the majority of the work you do is alone, without the other members of your team.

You may find that you don’t even know much about your fellow teammates, whether it be personal information or work-related things like what they’re currently working on. With no real connections with anyone else in the workplace, your day starts to feel very isolated.

No Communication from Management

You might be isolated at work when there is no communication from management. This starts to breed feelings of fear and frustration. You look to management to be transparent in what they do and communicate wins and losses with their staff. When this isn’t the case, nothing good can come out of it.

A 2016 study found that 54% of employees believed that their manager did not have enough time to handle the people apart of the job. Without a clear leader, you may start taking more sick days, become less productive, and become much less engaged in your work.

Not Being Able to Voice Your Opinion

Is sharing your thoughts in your workplace discouraged? Are there no avenues to express your opinions or is it frowned upon by management? Employees want to feel heard and want the freedom to be able to speak up.

If you find that you are not able to provide feedback on a recently completed project, you will surely start to feel more isolated. Eventually, you will give up trying to voice your opinion, which will breed feelings of resentment toward your manager and workplace.

Working Remotely

As more and more businesses start allowing their employees to work remotely, feelings of isolation are increasing. Although working from home is a lot more convenient than trekking into the office, employees are at home working by themselves, without the presence of coworkers. When you don’t have someone to talk to, feelings of isolation and loneliness increase.

There are perhaps more things employers can do to help combat isolation when their staff works remotely. By realizing that we’re all social beings and that we thrive on social connections, employers are encouraged to still promote in-person connections whenever possible.

One way to do this is to hold video calls. They don’t need to be solely work-based. You can, for example, use these during the lunch hour for employees to have a “lunch date” with their coworkers, if they so choose. This also allows coworkers to get to know each other a little better, hopefully helping them feel less isolated and lonely.

No Work-Life Balance

These days our lives are busier than ever. That’s why it’s so important that employers foster work-life balance in the workplace. When your employer expects you to be “on” 24/7, it’s easy to feel isolated and lonely.

This type of behavior shows you that your employer doesn’t care about your well-being and only cares about how much work you can crank out. If you’re feeling overworked, you may also be feeling isolated.

Lack of Appreciation

Another sign that you may be feeling isolated at work is if your manager doesn’t show their appreciation when you do a good job. If the only thing you ever hear is negative feedback, you’ll start to feel defeated quite quickly.

The same thing goes for coworkers. If you do them favors or help them out with a project and they can’t give you a simple “thank you”, chances are you’ll start to feel isolated even more. When you can’t rely on a co-worker to be on your side, you’ll also start to feel alone.

If you can relate to many of these signs, it’s perhaps time to speak up or start looking for a job where you’ll feel valued and less isolated.

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Daniyel Carlson
Daniyel Carlson is a Young Researcher in the field of Data Science & Analytics having research experience of more than 8 years. He has a Masters in Computer Engineering and currently serves as an Editorial Assistant in IGI Global, United States of America. Daniyel also holds honorary positions in the Associate Member of Institute of Research Engineers and Doctors, International Association of Computer Science and Information Technology, International Association of Engineers, Society of Digital Information and Wireless Communications.

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