Loneliness: a ghost roaming the halls of the international workplace

Let’s just say it – the international workspace can be a lonely one.

Is loneliness part of the organizational fabric of international work?

Here is a recent NY Times article "Building a Bridge to a Lonely Colleague" - workplace loneliness and its impact on individuals, teams and organizations:


If you don’t have time to read the article, read the below direct excerpts:

  • It doesn’t matter where a person is in the office hierarchy — employees at all levels become lonely, even when other workers are all around them;
  • Workplace loneliness hurts not only individuals but organizations as a whole;
  • Loneliness is often regarded as a personal problem, but managers need to view it as an organizational issue as well;
  • Loneliness reduces an employee’s productivity;
  • Being lonely in the middle of a crowd can be exhausting
  • Loneliness is an emotion, and you should listen to it;
  • Loneliness is not the same as solitude, which can be a positive and welcome state. Nor is it synonymous with depression;
  • Loneliness can be built into the fabric of an organization. An atmosphere of distrust, suspicion and fear can cause workers to feel estranged from one another;
  • Managers need to be thoughtful about making sure that their teams and team members are interpersonally engaged and connected to each other;

P.S. Two questions for you:

1. What do you make of the loneliness in the international workspace?

2.  How is workplace loneliness impacting you right now?

The goal of this Flash Info is to provoke reflection about loneliness in the international workspace. Maybe it will allow you to deepen your learning about your current situation and forward your action to create positive directed change.