More and more people are feeling both tired and lonely at work. In analyzing the General Social Survey of 2016, close to 50% of people say they are often or always exhausted due to work.
What’s more, there is a significant correlation between feeling lonely and work exhaustion: the more exhausted people are, the lonelier they feel.
This loneliness is not a result of social isolation, but rather is due to the emotional exhaustion of workplace burnout. The problem seems to be pervasive across professions and up and down corporate hierarchies.
Loneliness, whether it results from social isolation or exhaustion, has serious consequences for individuals. Research by Sarah Pressman, of the University of California, Irvine, demonstrates that while obesity reduces longevity by 20%, drinking by 30%, and smoking by 50%, loneliness reduces it by a whopping 70%.
On the other hand, research has demonstrated the link between productivity and social support at work, lower rates of burnout, and greater work satisfaction. The result of feeling socially connected, studies show, is greater psychological well-being. And that translates into higher productivity and better performance.