Make it work for you

16 February 2016

Each week you can spend more time with work colleagues than with your own friends and family. But what if you don’t fit in at work?

Isolation in the workplace is increasingly being recognised as a problem, says Relate. In a study, Relate found that 42% of people have no close friend at work.

In a Guardian article, one self-confessed loner said: “There’s no one at the place where I spend much of my waking life to whom I can turn when I want to confide my fears, to moan about the upper echelons, to worry away about what’s happening at home.”

The article triggered myriad responses. Many expressed similar isolation, and offered advice on how to cope. Their tips included:

Make an effort – even if you find it hard
“Talk with colleagues about your work (and their work too). Be curious about what others think, what they enjoy and what they find difficult.”

Find ways to meet new people
“Do you have a squash ladder, football team, badminton group etc? Or how about arranging a bake off or curry night?”

Take it out of the office
“To become really good friends the relationship has to be taken out of the workplace. We phone and email or see each other regularly.”

Encourage employers to care about your well-being
“I work in an organisation where there are staff-led socials, groups to join and things to do at lunch, in an almost collegiate atmosphere. The organisation also grants small stipends to societies so they can put on events. This helps improve workplace morale, makes staff feel valued and in turn, I believe, makes the workforce more productive.”

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