Why Are We Still Lonely When More Digitally Connected?
Remote workers are more likely to quit because of loneliness, according to Dan Schawbel, author of "Back to Human: How Great Leaders Create Connection in the Age of Isolation."
Cited in the article Why workplace loneliness is bad for business by Kathryn Vasel, CNN Business
"Employees who feel lonely are tied to lower job performance, according to a recent study by Ozcelik and Barsade. The study also found that lonely employees were less committed to the company and seemed less approachable to their colleagues.
While it can be hard to identify, loneliness can spread easily. "We catch emotions from each other like viruses," said Barsade. "We don't realize it's happening; it becomes behavioral mimicry."
Lonely workers can get stuck in a negative cycle that's hard to climb out of. They tend to push away those trying to help, which can ultimately lead to a talent drain.
You could have someone working in the middle of a crowded work area, but they aren't close with anyone and feel lonely." - HAKAN OZCELIK, A PROFESSOR AT SACRAMENTO STATE
"They start performing less, and companies might be losing their best employees because they are lonely," said Ozcelik."
It's not just at work. People are lonely at home and look to social media for comfort.
With access to Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and all other ways to digitally connect socially, you would think we would feel better, have more business opportunities, be in lasting relationships and get together with friends more often. Perhaps it's just nice to know we have options. Are we using the temporary sense of connection and validation to keep us safe from making real face to face connections and in the end feeling more lonely and less significant?
Life-coach, Tony Robbins often refers to the "Crazy 8" - a vicious cycle. "I feel lonely, unloved, and disconnected so I go on social media and make a post, then check for "likes" until I feel validated. I see other peoples posts and their lives look better than mine, spending even more time on FB as I get sucked down the rabbit hole looking for meet-ups and events to attend until it's too late to join because I wasted all my time searching for the best option. Besides, I don't want to go to those events alone. I feel like crap. So, I make another post and "Yeah! my best friend I never see anymore 'likes' my post! I feel better... for now." Let's 'face-it' Facebook and dating apps, as well as digital hiring practices can't replace authentic in-person interactions.
How can you SNAP OUT OF IT?
We have to change the behavior. That can be uncomfortable... like a first date, starting a new job, taking a class or learning a skill.
You will need to take massive action:
"People build real friendships by not always talking about work. When you get outside the office you are more likely to open up," - Schawable.
Would you like to be the genius hero that makes the difference in your workplace?
Flow is defined as “the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity.” It is commonly used to describe situations where an individual is performing above their normal level. Sometimes it’s referred to as “being in the zone.”
The 8 Characteristics of Flow
By psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi:
Help Your Employees Find Their Flow
Researchers from St. Bonaventure University asked students to participate in activities that would induce flow either in a team or by themselves. Students rated flow to be more enjoyable when in a team rather than when they were alone. Students also found it more joyful if the team members were able to talk to one another. This finding was replicated even when skill level and challenge were equal.A final study found that being in an interdependent group whilst in flow is more enjoyable than one that is not. So, if you want to get more enjoyment out of an experience of flow, try engaging in activities together. This beautifully echoes Christopher Peterson’s conclusion that positive psychology can be summed up in three words: "Other People Matter!"
Take you team out -or bring a mobile team builder in for a few hours - to connect with each other on a more personal level and have them participate in an activity that helps them practice getting into a state of flow. Most art or craft based activities engage all people with various skill sets when partially guided and then left for free-flowing abstract creativity. "When I host team builders," says Donna of Laugh A Lot Art Events, there's a lot of excitement, banter and giggling at first, and then suddenly silence, as individuals find themselves fully immersed. That's the flow state!" It's a good way for your staff to have fun, relax AND discover that feeling of flow so, they can bring that feeling and put it to practice back at the office. "You have to experience it to recognize it."
JUST ONE CANVAS??
That was my question for the young woman who contacted me about a surprise for her "Mamie" she affectionately refers to her grandmother. I get a lot of requests for paint events by luxury apartment complexes for socials, companies for creative employee appreciation events and birthdays & showers, etc. It involves prepping sample art from our gallery and packing up several canvases and easels and making sure there is plenty of seating, easels and supplies for each artist.
THIS TIME was different. This rather large family wanted to give a gift of one collaborative masterpiece to their 'Mamie' - a gift from their hearts as she returned home after a series of medical treatments to celebrate her healing and express their love and appreciation.
So, I made a visit to the beautiful home they had decided to hold this family reunion and paint event (I usually make sure I see where I will be setting up in advance.) I was greeted by two big adorable and rambunctious puppies and mom just getting her kids after school snacks. Pets and small children around paint can be a challenge. They had a lovely pool as well, which makes me think - please don't leave me out by the pool with kids! (Yikes - danger, I can't watch them and run a paint party!) She graciously showed me the garage (no AC in Texas heat?) We looked in the foyer (too wide open for pets and children running around.) Then, there was a guest room with french doors off the pool & barbecue grill area with it's own bathroom - perfect! I could cover everything with painters drop clothes and take 2-3 painters at a time into this room with the large canvas and the family can entertain and reminisce by the pool. My mind was focused on the logistics of the event and keeping the home spotless through the paint activity so the host could focus on her thing.
The day arrived and I quickly went to the dedicated room and set up. I was prepared! What I wasn't prepared for was the emotion this amazing sweet and fantastically funny family drew from me as I spent time with them painting. They shared about themselves, their stories about cousin's, siblings & grandma and their insecurities about painting on this huge canvas! "I don't want to ruin it!" The little ones where actually the most confident. We started out with a sample garden scene but after consulting with "Mamie" first about her favorite colors, and with each family members individual contributions the painting just took on a life of it's own!
The laughter and singing in the other room made it a warm an wonderful experience. It was supposed to be a surprise for Mamie but I think it was a beautiful surprise and precious gift for me to see a family united in love!
Donna Blodgett Lita
Owner, Laugh A Lot Mobile Art Events - Connecting people with their creative side and others through art and laughter.
By Donna Blodgett - Nov. 30, 2017
As a single woman, in a city that's growing faster than you can swipe left on your dating app, I was wondering where all the single men go after work; because they aren't at the places I'm hanging out. In fact, everywhere I go I am surrounded by vibrant, intelligent, beautiful, single women!
Well crap! I love women... but I don't "love, love" women if you know what I mean. It' also a reminder of what I am up against. The competition is stiff around here. Stiffer than a... (okay that's enough with the metaphors - this one's all yours.)
But, I digress. I am in a few singles Facebook groups. So, I posed the question to the men in one of the groups, "Where do you guys go after work during the week?" Most responded that they stay at work late so they don't have to go back to their lonely, empty apartment to early, they go to the the gym then home, or they just go home. Come on guys!!!! They are in that group saying they can't seem to meet any quality women. Here's a clue... unless you order delivery - think mail order bride - the girl of your dreams is not likely the pizza delivery girl. (No offense pizza-girl. She's not likely reading this blog anyway.)
I still haven't received much feedback about where to meet successful, ambitious men that don't hang out in bars. I got grocery store, home improvement stores, business networking groups and some meetups or the dreaded dating app. That's okay because I did end up meeting a great guy the old fashioned organic way. Through a good friend (who met him on a dating site.) I guess one girls trash is another girls treasure and I treasure my very creative guy!
Anyhoo... What I did learn is that some of you guys could use some help. So my gift to you is a goldmine of gorgeous girly go-to's:
1. GROUP FITNESS- We prefer group workout classes and they are overflowing with fit single women. If you prefer your manly weight lifting gym that smells of svety balz, that's good for you, but try adding a yoga class, or an Orange Theory Fitness group training. If you are really "balzy," you will find the female dominated Zumba or Barre fitness class is teaming with girls that will fall all over you... if you are friendly, confident and not creepy. (Google "How not to appear creepy.")
2. SALSA or SWING DANCE LESSONS- It' drives me crazy how men are out-numbered at dance lessons and socials. I have met so many wonderful people (most of them great women) at dance. The lessons start after 7 pm and socials might be after 9 pm every day of the week here in Austin.
Since there are usually more women at the socials, we ladies have to be assertive and ask the guys for a dance or we could be sitting and waiting all night. (Weekend lessons also run throughout the day.) I like Inspired Movement on South Congress in Austin but there are many more options.
3. PAINT & SIP LUXURY APARTMENT SOCIALS- This is where Laugh A Lot Mobile Art Events gets a shameless plug. I host paint and sip socials at residential communities and they are generally attended by both genders but, predominantly 30 something single women here in Austin. If you are a single man living in a community that host these FREE socials, it's a no brainer!!! GO! If you are introverted, you can busy yourself at the art project - it's a great ice breaker. There are also many paint & sip venues found in local strip malls and art night out you can sign up for through their website.
OTHER PLACES: Shopping Malls, Coffee Shops, Meet-up Groups (Art & Travel = WOMEN)
Good luck and whatever you do... always be creative and laugh a lot!
Women & Group Exercise: Theories From a Male Instructor - by Eric C. Stevens
HAPPY EMPLOYEES - BETTER CUSTOMER SERVICE - HIGHER SALES