Washington, DC – Loneliness is pervasive amongst the American workforce and has only intensified with the disruption to daily routines and working conditions brought on by COVID-19. Even before the pandemic, more than three in five American working adults felt lonely. Helping employees overcome feelings of social isolation and loneliness (SIL) is necessary, given the serious implications SIL has for health and work. This week, the Foundation for Social Connection released The SOCIAL Framework: Work, Employment, and Labor (WEL) Sector, the third report in a series of sector-based social connection reports. The report explores evidence-based interventions to advance social connectedness and address social isolation and loneliness in the work, employment, and labor sector.
“Recent studies show loneliness has morbidity and mortality equivalencies to obesity and smoking, and social isolation is undoubtedly correlated with these physical maladies as well as mental health and overall well-being,” said co-author of the report, Karen Moseley. Social isolation and loneliness in the workplace increase employee health care costs, sick days, absenteeism, and turnover. The ramifications of these issues are estimated to cost our national economy $406 billion annually. Mosely explains, “Fostering social connection and related experiences of trust, belonging, and social support can mitigate the aforementioned costs and result in significant gains for employers, including improvements in worker productivity, performance, and well-being.”
Using the Systems Of Cross-sector Integration and Action across the Lifespan (SOCIAL) Framework developed in partnership with the Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Council, chaired by Dr. Julianne Holt-Lunstad, the report explores the unique role employers can play in assessing the issues of social isolation and loneliness in the workplace and offers untapped organizational and legislative policy opportunities to advance social connection for society at large.
The report can be read here: https://www.social-connection.org/systemic-framework
The Foundation for Social Connection’s (F4SC) vision is for all Americans to have the opportunities and evidence-based support necessary to be socially engaged in society. F4SC engages in education, increases public awareness, promotes innovative research, and spurs the development and implementation of evidence-based models that address social isolation/loneliness and social connection. For more information, please visit:https://www.social-connection.org/