Loneliness and the Workplace

Nick Jones Workplace Leave a Comment

You would think, in this day and age, we would be a lot closer than we are. But the fact is, we are about as far apart from one another as we possibility could be. Friends are getting confused with acquaintances, and acquaintances get confused with friends. We have a growing list of “friends” but rarely meet with any of them.

People are constantly surrounding themselves with more things and more technology, pushing away the things that matter most, actual interaction. Without even realizing, we are becoming more and more comfortable separated from quality connection. And sadly, we mistake that separation for solitude.

Who Are We Becoming?

Without even knowing it we are becoming a lonely and secluded people, and that loneliness is destroying us. I will agree that is my opinion, and considering I don’t have any studies here to back that up my argument can fall a little short. But I’m not trying to prove my point that way. Think about it for a moment. How many personal interactions are you having with people where you give them your full attention and they give you their full attention? How many interactions are you having with people digitally through iMessage, texting, Facebook, etc. while having other conversations with someone else?

There is nothing wrong with the answer to either one of those questions. In fact, that’s the way we have to keep up with the fast paced business world we live in. But the answer to the later questions hopefully points out the changes we are having in our society. We are not a society that calls people up on the phone, or swings by just to say hi. And it is so easy to take that interaction home with us to our families when we “finish” our workday.

The Loss of Service

Here are some other questions: When is the last time you brought soup to a sick friend? When is the last time you donated time to a homeless shelter? When is the last time you volunteered for anything as a family?

Hopefully, you’ve taken every opportunity you could. However, I don’t think most of us have. The majority I see in my social world Feel they are doing good by sharing things on their Facebook walls. We get so busy that we can’t find time to spare for others; even with all the time saving devices we have in our lives.

In fact, being away from our devices probably leaves us feeling naked. I know I feel that way. We, as a people, can no longer bear to be alone with ourselves and our own thoughts. We are lonely, we just don’t realize it because we are suppressing it with technology.

Tying It All To the Workplace

This loneliness is affecting our relationships and we are losing the kindness we had as children. As a people, we no longer see others as they are: actual people. We see them as a screen or a fleeting thought.

Additionally, this loneliness is affecting productivity at work. Instead of people returning to work from a refreshing weekend, we have employees spending their weekend fighting with their subconscious, constantly trying to fight the loneliness they feel. They start each week exhausted, and they spend their workdays fighting away the internal feelings of loneliness.

Your employees are probably the alternative to this, though. They have family and friends they spend time with, and they work their butts off helping the company grow.

But are you prepared for the workforce that’s graduating from college? The workforce that doesn’t understand the difference between a friend and an acquaintance?

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