Loneliness and social wellbeing
We hosted an online event with the Bank Workers Charity on 11th June 2021 looking at loneliness and social wellbeing, the impact of loneliness at work, and some simple ways to ensure we connect with others during the pandemic and beyond.
We asked Paul Barrett, Head of Wellbeing at the Bank Workers Charity, to come and talk to our members about:
- Why we need to be talking about social wellbeing
- What do we mean by loneliness - it's not just about being alone!
- Why there is so much loneliness, and who it impacts most
- How the pandemic has impacted loneliness
- The impacts at work and some personal experiences
- What businesses can do to address the issues, and how we're all part of the solution
Paul began the session by detailing some statistics about sleep issues during the pandemic:
“Social wellbeing is finally ‘having its moment in the sun’. The pandemic has revealed what psychologists have been telling us for years, which is social connection is absolutely vital to human beings.”
Until the pandemic, social wellbeing took a back seat behind mental health and physical wellbeing in most organisations' thinking about wellbeing at work. Covid-19 has changed that. With large numbers of employees working remotely and missing the social dimension of work, the pandemic has revealed just how important social wellbeing is. Loneliness has been found to have the same negative health impact as smoking fifteen cigarettes a day. And recent research has shown the importance of even small-scale social exchanges, to our overall wellbeing.
That's why we teamed up with the Bank Workers Charity for a wellbeing webinar that focussed on talking about loneliness and social wellbeing. Paul identified a range of strategies we can employ to get us safely through the pandemic and beyond by setting up some good habits.
You can access the recording below, along with links to download the slides and a link to our feedback survey.
We ran short of time on the webinar to ask you which topic you'd like us to cover next, so we've included this in our feedback survey. We're also planning a 'returning to the workplace anxiety' webinar with the Bank Workers Charity which we'll be planning for later in the year. Keep an eye out for the invites!Download the recording Download the slides Tell us how we did
The importance of sleep
In this wellbeing webinar, we look at the importance of sleep and what happens if we don’t get enough. With a focus on sleep during the pandemic, we take a look at how to improve sleep quality.
Surviving the long pandemic
We look at the uncertainties created by the long pandemic and identify strategies we can use to minimise the risks to our mental health and wellbeing.
Importance of taking breaks & suicide prevention
Every year on the 10th September, organisations and communities across the world come together to raise awareness and to focus on creating a world where fewer people die due to suicide.
Tips for tackling loneliness at work
The good news is, there are some steps we can take to better understand, recognise, and challenge loneliness in the workplace:
- Be aware of loneliness – be aware of how you feel, and how others may be feeling. Get to know what changes in behaviour might signal that there is a problem. This is essential for managers.
- Having wellbeing check-ins – make time talking about wellbeing, not just task driven conversations.
- Network with colleagues – join networks, and if there isn't one why not bring colleagues together in your team for a non-task driven conversation. Many teams have help quizzes or other social events through virtual means to bring people together.
- Talking about loneliness – talking can help reduce the stigma and makes it easier for people to seek help when they need it.
- Engage in video calls – sometimes we might not fell like appearing on camera, but having video switched on allows us to directly connect with others.
- Buddy up – especially with remote working, or working remotely from other colleagues, it's useful to have a buddy to check-in regularly and talk to each other about how you're getting on. This can build deeper connections with colleagues too.
- Direct contact – where you are working together with your colleagues, have direct contact with your colleagues rather than relying solely on digital technology.
- LBG’s Employee Assistance Programme (Validium): 0800 9700 100
- TSB's Employee Assistance Programme: 0800 0856 348
- Bank Workers Charity: 0800 0234 834 — https://www.bwcharity.org.uk/
- Samaritans: 116 123 — https://www.samaritans.org/
- Mind: https://www.mind.org.uk/