A study says office isolation can lead to worker turnover and some pretty lousy feelings.
A study says office isolation can lead to worker turnover and some pretty lousy feelings.
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If you work in an isolated corner of your office, or if your boss never gives you the time of day, you might feel pretty crummy. Now there’s research to show you’re not alone.

(Not alone in feeling that way, that is. By virtue of your isolation, you are indeed alone at work.)

Research out of the University of British Columbia shows workplace isolation tends to be pretty soul-crushing. A press release for the forthcoming study says:

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Surveys revealed that people who claimed to have experienced ostracism were significantly more likely to report a degraded sense of workplace belonging and commitment, a stronger intention to quit their job, and a larger proportion of health problems.

Yikes.

What’s more, the study suggests that many people wind up ostracized at work precisely because people think it’s a more polite and socially acceptable way to deal with colleagues than outright bullying or harassing them. The study also found that people who were ostracized at work rather than harassed were significantly more likely to quit their jobs after three years.

Yikes again.

The absolute wrong way to take that would be to say you should start harassing those coworkers you’ve been ignoring. That’s not good either. Just be nice to your colleagues, all right?

h/t Science of Us