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?