B. T. Bryan, King’s College London, UK

Concern around the health and economic impact of workplace loneliness has grown in recent years, with a recent report from the UK All Party Parliamentary Group on Tackling Loneliness and Connected Communities calling for employers to tackle loneliness within their organizations. While a recent systematic review has highlighted cross-sectional associations between workplace loneliness and poor wellbeing and occupational functioning (Bryan et al. 2023), no previous studies have directly investigated whether workplace conditions elevate or reduce a worker’s risk of feeling lonely.  The health and occupational consequences of workplace loneliness are also not well established (Wright & Silard 2021). This study was conducted to identify work-related and individual risk factors for workplace loneliness and investigate the impact of loneliness on workers’ health and occupational functioning.  In-depth semi-structured interviews with 31 UK based workers about experiences of social connection and loneliness at work. Participants from a broad range of occupations, ages and demographic backgrounds reported that loneliness was a significant part of their working life. A combination of individual factors and aspects of the work environment were described as eliciting or preceding feelings of loneliness. Participants also reported that workplace loneliness impacted their mental health, psychological wellbeing and performance at work. Overall, our findings highlight the impact of workplace loneliness on workers’ health and wellbeing. Our results also point to the role of the aspects of the work environment that increase risk of loneliness in staff, which can inform strategies to address workplace loneliness.


Bryan, B. T., Andrews, G., Thompson, K. N., Qualter, P., Matthews, T., & Arseneault, L. (2023). Loneliness in the workplace: a mixed-method systematic review and meta-analysis. Occupational Medicine, 73(9), 557-567.

Wright, S., & Silard, A. (2021). Unravelling the antecedents of loneliness in the workplace. Human Relations, 74(7), 1060-1081.

Park, C., Majeed, A., Gill, H., Tamura, J., Ho, R. C., Mansur, R. B., & McIntyre, R. S. (2020). The effect of loneliness on distinct health outcomes: a comprehensive review and meta-analysis. Psychiatry Research, 294, 113514.

Valtorta, N. K., Kanaan, M., Gilbody, S., Ronzi, S., & Hanratty, B. (2016). Loneliness and social isolation as risk factors for coronary heart disease and stroke: systematic review and meta-analysis of longitudinal observational studies. Heart, 102(13), 1009-1016.

Holt-Lunstad, J., Smith, T. B., Baker, M., Harris, T., & Stephenson, D. (2015). Loneliness and social isolation as risk factors for mortality: a meta-analytic review. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 10(2), 227-237.

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