BLOOMFIELD, Conn. — A new study suggests that nearly half of Americans feel lonely or left out and that making friends at work could help people feel less isolated.
Researchers at Cigna surveyed almost 2,000 full-time employees finding that many who feel lonely experience lower job satisfaction, fewer promotions and more frequent job switching.
Those people are also more likely to quit their current job within the next six months.
The study found that gender, race and geographic location did not impact the likelihood of feeling lonely. Instead, it’s where people work.
Lawyers, engineers and scientists feel alone more because of a greater lack of social interaction, while people working in social work, marketing and sales experienced less loneliness.
“There is an inherent link between loneliness and the workplace, with employers in a unique position to be a critical part of the solution,” said Douglas Nemecek, M.D., chief medical officer for Behavioral Health at Cigna. “Fortunately, these results clearly point to the benefits meaningful in-person connections can have on loneliness, including those in the workplace.”
In addition, the study found that Gen Z (adults ages 18 to 22) are the loneliest.
The study also found that social media doesn’t have a large impact on loneliness with those who defined themselves as heavy users of social media having a similar loneliness score as those who never use social media.