Workplace Loneliness in India : Exploring The Workplace And It's Impact on Loneliness

Workplace Loneliness in India : Exploring The Workplace And It's Impact on Loneliness

Loneliness is a universal feeling characterised by a distressing sense of disconnect and isolation. It differs from being alone and can have significant mental and physical health consequences, such as depression, sleep issues, cognitive decline, heart disease, stroke, and high mortality rates.

Despite the increase in connectivity, loneliness remains a prevalent issue, affecting over 40% of Indians. This raises questions about the impact of work models on loneliness, especially in a country that emphasises competition, reputation, and potential for the next best things.

We conducted a research study of 95 individuals to understand if the workplace dynamic influenced their feelings of loneliness. Individuals who participated in this study were all of Indian origin and working actively in India. To understand the feelings of loneliness, we used the UCLA Loneliness Scale. Our data suggests that the mean loneliness scores for the three groups were: remote (25.83), hybrid (26.61), and on-site (28.81). Surprisingly, the analysis showed that the type of workplace did not significantly impact loneliness levels. A one-way ANOVA revealed no significant effect of the workplace on loneliness, F(2,91) = 0.15, p = > 0.001, indicating that there was no statistical significance (p = 0.86 > 0.05).

We acknowledge that we used random sampling to collect data; however, the participants were limited, and we needed wider participation to improve the diversity and have a better population sample. The scale used was not specific to the variable we aimed to study, hence not accurately measuring the dependent variable, like the Loneliness at Work Scale by Sarah Wright. Furthermore, the data gathered did not have equal representation for all three independent variables and gender. 

 By understanding the relationship between work and loneliness, we can develop strategies to foster stronger human connections and mitigate the negative effects of loneliness.

To address this issue, it is essential to recognise that workplace loneliness is a complex and subjective experience that can affect anyone, regardless of their role or level of seniority. Employers and leaders can take several steps to reduce loneliness in the workplace, including building a psychologically safe workplace, making sure team members know they are available, praising effort rather than just results, acknowledging one's own vulnerabilities, and promoting meaningful human connections.

By taking a proactive approach to addressing workplace loneliness, employers and leaders can create a more productive and engaged team, improve overall wellbeing, and foster a more connected and resilient workforce.

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Meet the authors...

Our team is constantly learning, discussing and understanding human behaviour. We love understanding what makes people tick and identifying useful strategies to help them during sticky times.