Workplace environment causing employees to feel lonely

Published: Mar. 2, 2020 at 5:12 AM CST
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According to a new survey done by Cigna, which is a health insurance company, more than three in five Americans are reporting that they're lonely.

Sanford Health Psychiatry Doctor, Alicia Elliott, says:"if we have chronic loneliness, if we don't feel that social connection, there can be long lasting physical effects on your health. One thing that it is associated with is cardiovascular disease and we see high blood pressure from that, so, it can effect your body physically over time."

Not only can loneliness affect people physically, but also mentally.

"It's also associated with a decrease in cognitive performance. So, over time if workers are feeling chronic loneliness then their work performance is going to be impacted by that, too," says Dr. Elliott.

Cigna Surveyed 10,000 adult workers over a three month span. Among men, 63% felt lonely in the work place and 58% of women felt the same. Dr. Elliott says more people are feeling lonely at work because it lacks community and instead focuses on individual achievement.

"There is this sense of, I would like to be better than my coworker. I would like to be better than my neighbor. So there's this competitiveness, which makes it really difficult to have meaningful relationships," says Dr. Elliott.

Technology could also be to blame. Dr. Elliott says, "recognizing at your job.. are you spending a lot of time alone? Are you spending it more and more with electronics? When you notice that you're feeling lonely, find a coworker. In North Dakota and Minnesota the weather is always something you can talk about."

And while social media is a way to make connections, Dr. Elliott wants to remind people that it's not a replacement for building close relationships.

It may be hard to do but remaining positive at work and keeping your personal life separate can help boot your mood. However, if you're still struggling, Dr. Elliott recommends reaching out to your primary care giver.

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