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Why Does the Loneliness Epidemic Matter to Company Culture?

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Dave Wilkin
Ten Thousand Coffees Team -
August 21, 2019

We are living in a loneliness epidemic. It is no surprise, therefore, that workplace isolation is on the rise. In 2018, the UK appointed the world’s first Loneliness Minister with research showing that loneliness can be more harmful to your health than smoking 15 cigarettes a day

In a time when we’ve never been more digitally connected - why are we so lonely? 

  • Teams are bigger, more dispersed geographically and often remote.
  • Flattening org structures mean people managers have even more direct reports and less opportunity to work with a diverse range of colleagues.  
  • Multi-generational workforces have conflicting communication approaches.

Data is proving that loneliness is impacting mid to large organizations. It’s easier to meet someone at your competitors’ organization than your own colleagues. Our endless digital connection has made it harder than ever before to informally connect with colleagues to learn and share. 

Informal conversations between colleagues is a fundamental ingredient for culture, mobility & talent development - all of which are C-level priorities. The loneliness epidemic is the culture kryptonite. The next generation of talent and ideas need a culture of employees building relationships, learning, and connecting through real human conversations.  

What can we all do? 

In working with several leading Fortune 500s to solve this problem, we’ve put together an Exec Summary template and the three questions any mid to large company can use to test their culture for loneliness indicators. Shoot us a message and we’d be happy to share this with you. 

Ten Thousand Coffees is an enterprise talent development platform for informal learning. We help companies scale and measure informal development by enabling colleagues to learn from each other. Whether it’s for career development, culture transformations, or learning programs - our data-driven smart matching technology connects colleagues based on their goals, interests, and role. The Future of Work is transforming organizations: informal development between colleagues is where talent mobility and culture sticks.

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