One of the biggest challenges we face in society today is loneliness.
Even before we were locked down due to coronavirus, loneliness was at epidemic levels, with 1 in 2 Australians saying they are lonely at least once a week.
Feeling disconnected and lonely has the same health risks as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, obesity and high blood pressure. Loneliness also leads to depression and anxiety, which are now the leading cause of long-term sickness absence at work as well as a major cause of presenteeism in the workplace.
Dr Vivek Murthy, (19th Surgeon General of the United States, from 2014-2017) in his new book Together, describes loneliness as “running like a dark thread through many of the more obvious health issues such as anxiety, depression, violence and addiction”.
Loneliness isn’t only a problem in our community. It’s also a growing issue in the workplace, at all levels. Loneliness at work is something I’ve previously experienced, and I know it’s not only me who has – or is – going through this.
In this episode I talked about:
- New research from Cigna that shows a clear connection between work and loneliness
- How many CEOs feel lonely in their job and how it hinders their performance
- The correlation between work exhaustion and feeling lonely
- The impact of loneliness on our cognitive performance, executive function, health and general wellbeing
- Why leaders need to pay attention to loneliness in the workplace
- Suggestions to reduce loneliness at work.
Loneliness is one of the most horrible feelings we can have. What can you do today to reach out to someone who might be feeling lonely? Or, if you’re lonely, what can you do to connect with someone in your world?
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