Loneliness in the workplace doesn’t just make you feel bad, it can have major impacts on your productivity and motivation.
Feeling lonely in the workplace can be particularly hard to deal with. Maybe you’re new, or from out of town.
Or maybe you’re just a natural introvert, and that can be tough in a world that favours extroverts.
So, how can you deal with feeling isolated in your workplace?
Accept Your Feelings of loneliness
Start by acknowledging and accepting your feelings. Right now, you are experiencing loneliness, and that’s not a good feeling.
Give yourself time and know that things are likely to change. If you’re new, you’ll soon find your feet and meet more people.
If you’re an introvert, you’ll be more comfortable making connections gradually.
Be Kind to Yourself This Isn’t Your Fault
Don’t blame yourself for feeling isolated. Cut yourself some slack and give it time.
You don’t get any choice about the people you work with, and you’re not going to click with everyone you meet. If it’s a high-stress office, maybe people are just too busy to make social connections.
Reach Out to Other People
You don’t have to be an exuberant extrovert to be nice to your colleagues. Try saying good morning, smiling, and being friendly.
Help clean up after meetings or collect a colleague’s papers from the printer for them.
There are dozens of small, easy things you can do to build connections with other people in your workplace.
Being a Good Team Member
This goes a step beyond being nice to being actively supportive.
If a colleague is frantically trying to meet a deadline, ask what you can do to help, even if it’s just taking their phone calls or getting them a coffee.
Volunteer for the less fun tasks and take your turn at cleaning the office kitchen.
Adapt to the Office Culture
If you feel like you’re not fitting in, take a look around and consider why you think that is. Most workplaces have a distinct culture, whether it’s in the dress code or behavior style.
Do people chat between meetings, or is it a ‘head down and focus’ office? Are you the only one wearing a suit?
Workplaces tend to like conformity, so you’ll feel more like one of the gang if you look and behave like everyone else.
Vote with Your Feet
If you’ve tried hard and life in your current workplace is really getting you down, you don’t have to stay! You can take steps to find a more supportive, friendly workplace. Look for an organization that values people and supportive teamwork.
To Feel Lonely or Suffer Loneliness
is a terrible thing. It can happen to the best of us but if you use some of or all of the 6 tips here it should get better. In fact, make it better by taking charge of your situation.
I know you can do it because I have done it myself.