The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has published new guidance, 'Employers and loneliness', to address what organisations can do to tackle loneliness among their workers.
The guidance notes that the estimated cost of loneliness to UK employers is £2.5 billion every year and, by tackling loneliness, employers can ensure a more "productive and resilient" workforce.
The guidance addresses five key themes: culture and infrastructure, management, people and networks, work and workplace design, and wider role in the community. It sets out examples of good practice, setting out steps that employers can take to help to alleviate loneliness. Examples include:
- Setting up a comprehensive wellbeing programme that promotes awareness of loneliness.
- Having a loneliness "champion" who is trained in loneliness and wellbeing.
- Making loneliness part of managers' responsibilities and training them on handling emotional and difficult conversations.
The guidance recognises that the way in which we work is changing, and emphasises the importance of creating space, time and opportunities for connection. It also mentions that employers can help to address loneliness in the community, for instance by encouraging their workers to volunteer for charities or participate in local initiatives addressing loneliness