Gen Z Loneliness and The Workplace

Last month on the Tammy Dowley-Blackman (TDB) blog, we touched upon the timely discussions of remote work and rethinking the office space to meet the needs of young professionals. Enticing workers back to a brick and mortar setting can be a challenge, but at the same time, some members of Generation Z are struggling with post-pandemic feelings of loneliness and isolation.

On September 23, 2023, Business Insider reported, “Gen Z loneliness is so bad that some young adults are spending thousands trying to make friends through gym memberships and social clubs.” Those without the financial means to go this route are seeking connections through free options, such as gallery openings, volunteer work, and book clubs.

According to the article, citing Matt Schulz, chief credit analyst for LendingTree, “Not having that social experience at the office shrinks your social circle, and especially when you’re young, it’s so important to have that group.”  As such, “Many young adults, especially remote workers, are trying to combat loneliness by picking up new hobbies and activities to meet new people.” To learn more about this phenomenon, the full article can be accessed here.

Here are some statistics to note:

  • 72% of Gen Z prefer face-to-face communication and connection
  • 82% report wanting help from supervisors to help set and achieve performance goals at work
  • Only 47% report they are are thriving in their lives (currently among the lowest across all generations in America)

Hybrid Work and a Healthy Organizational Culture

“Members of Gen Z are more likely to report experiencing negative emotions such as stress, anxiety and loneliness,” according to CNN and the inaugural Gallup-WFF Gen Z study found here. While a complete lack of in-person connection can be harmful for mental health and career growth, organizations investing more heavily in hybrid work options appear to be creating more inclusive and psychologically safe work experiences.

On October 10, 2023, in an article titled, “The Future of Mental Health at Work Is Safety, Community, and a Healthy Organizational Culture,” Harvard Business Review noted that “hybrid workers who had the freedom to decide where they work reported a shorter duration of mental health symptoms, a more positive impact of work on mental health, greater comfort talking about mental health at work, lower likelihood of leaving roles for mental health reasons, and greater pride and intent to stay at their current employer for two or more years.”

Looking Forward

Looking Forward Lab is a learning and development company designed to serve as the “go to” hub for innovative workforce and professional development solutions for Gen Z, the institutions educating/training them, and hiring managers welcoming them into their early career workplaces. To learn more, click here, or contact us today.

Tammy Dowley-Blackman Group, LLC is a certified National Supplier Development Council Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), Small Business Administration (SBA) Woman Owned Small Business (WOSB), and Women’s Business Enterprise Network Council (WBENC) woman-owned company. The company is comprised of a suite of brands, including TDB Group Strategic Advisory, a management consulting firm; Looking Forward Lab, a learning and development company focused on Gen Z, which partners with corporations and higher education systems to offer a full-service learning engagement model that delivers workforce development solutions; and Cooper + Lowe, an incubator for women interested in transitioning to entrepreneurship and thought leadership using the tools of a company that has successfully scaled.

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