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40% of Australians feel lonely at work

New research has shown that a startling number of people across the country feel lonely in the workplace, causing flow-on effects for both productivity and wellbeing.

The Workplace Loneliness report, launched today by global HR thinktank Reventure, surveyed 1,010 employed Australians aged 18-65. It found that 40 per cent of Australian workers feel lonely at work, 38 per cent of lonely workers report making more mistakes and 40 percent of lonely workers feel less productive.

Furthermore, 47 per cent of those that are lonely are more likely to suffer poor wellbeing and 36 per cent of lonely workers report getting sick more often.

The report “builds on international commentary about the impact of loneliness on people’s health, including findings that loneliness has a similar effect as smoking 15 cigarettes a day,” Reventure said in a statement.

Reventure managing director Dr Lindsay McMillan OAM, who served as lead researcher for the report, said it was a “first of its kind and is a call for change in workplaces throughout the nation”.

“One of the most alarming findings in Workplace Loneliness is how workers believe workplace leaders and HR teams have not acted on the growing epidemic,” he said.

“Only 9 per cent of Australian workers feel comfortable speaking to HR about relationship concerns at work. Other countries have responded to this public health concern. The United Kingdom, for example, has appointed a Minister for Loneliness and announced the first ever ‘Employer Pledge’ to tackle workplace loneliness.”

“Workplaces can and must take charge to design and implement support systems and structures to reduce – and end – workplace loneliness once and for all,” Dr McMillan said.

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Jerome Doraisamy

Jerome Doraisamy

Jerome Doraisamy is a senior writer for Lawyers Weekly and Wellness Daily at Momentum Media.

Before joining the team in early 2018, Jerome is admitted as a solicitor in New South Wales and, prior to joining the team in early 2018, he worked in both commercial and governmental legal roles and has worked as a public speaker and consultant to law firms, universities and high schools across the country and internationally. He is also the author of The Wellness Doctrines self-help book series and is an adjunct lecturer at The University of Western Australia.

Jerome graduated from the University of Technology, Sydney with a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts in Communication (Social Inquiry).

You can email Jerome at: [email protected] 

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“Kindness is the language that the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” – Mark Twain