Remote work increases loneliness and isolation
Again, while working remotely may lead to some employees experiencing social isolation, experienced remote workers generally know how to deal with feelings social isolation by increasing communication.
We are still looking for more evidence on this. Do you know any studies on this topic that also measured if culture & company policies play a role in increasing or reducing employee isolation? We’d love it if you could share them with us!
Research shows that remote working can indeed increase loneliness and social isolation, with remote employees saying that they craved office-based interactions63 and experienced isolation when they could not share their problems with other team members64. This is echoed by research both old and new, with remote workers feeling more apart from the office and invisible65, 66. Professional research conducted during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic found that 58% of employees did not get lonely when working from home, while the same cannot be said for the remaining 42%15.
Remote workers also felt more professionally isolated, meaning that they felt that their absence from the office hindered their career progression opportunities65.
Other research found that feelings of social isolation in remote workers were actually relatively rare and moderate in intensity67. Successful remote employees also took measures to ensure that they do not feel socially isolated when working from home by ensuring that they stay in contact with their office-based colleagues68. Managers also play a crucial role in ensuring remote employees do not feel isolated since previous research has found that manager support was related to lower isolation and turnover intentions, and higher satisfaction with the manager69.