Solitude in Front of a Screen
You’ve probably heard our present age referred to as the “Age of Isolation” or “Age of Loneliness.” They’re not new epithets. When you heard them, what did you think? How did you feel?
Some of you may have shrugged and went on with your daily routine, filing the phrase away for a future anecdote. But its implications are troubling.
It’s important you understand that it’s not just clever phrasing for debate but a telling label of our times with sobering ramifications.
A global study conducted by Future Workplace and Virgin Pulse found that workers today spend a disproportionate amount of their workday (nearly 50%) communicating digitally. Thus, a little more than half of those workers feel lonely very often or always.
Technology helps us be more productive, reaches across greater distances, and expands the scope of the possible.
Even so, technology is deceiving us. It shouts, “You’re more connected!”
It’s an illusion. We aren’t more connected, we simply have more ways to communicate. Present and aspiring leaders must be aware.
Human contact is a necessity. Without it we lose ourselves, become depressed, less engaged, and we fade away, concealed by our own cloud of melancholy. Relying on digital communication more than face-to-face interaction at work will have the same result.
Remote workers are more prone to loneliness. Freedom and flexibility can be great incentives to work smarter and more productively. However, studies show that more freedom and flexibility can create isolated employees who’re disengaged and less likely to pursue a long-term career at a company.
This doesn’t mean we think employers should stop offering remote work opportunities. No, we believe permitting employees to work remotely is beneficial. We do, however, think it’s the duty of company leaders to combat their employees’ loneliness by offering opportunities to interact in person.
There’s no one right answer. Assess your resources, get creative, find others to help, and start planning! Try lunch-time learning events, start projects with an in-person planning session, or have a brainstorming session. Need ideas? Contact us here!
About The Author
Director of Brand Strategy
To avoid watching the final season of Game of Thrones, Adam keeps himself busy engaging our marketing, recruiting, and customer experience frameworks. While he’s often behind the scenes pulling the strings, his insight, experience, and job search expertise shine through in efforts to expand brand reach and serve as a driving force behind many of our endeavors. Connect with Adam on LinkedIn.