Almost half (49%) of UK workers believe a good social life significantly affects their mental health and overall job satisfaction, a Glassdoor analysis has found.
The figures showed that just under nine in 10 (89%) think feeling a sense of belonging at their organisation is vital to their overall happiness at work.
In terms of workplace culture, Glassdoor’s economic research team discovered that nearly four in five (79%) of respondents think it can have a positive impact on their productivity, with a similar number (81%) saying it influences their engagement.
The study further found that six in 10 individuals (58%) who have been working for less than five years are lonely all or most of the time. This drops to 47% among those with six to 10 years of experience, falling to just 15% for people with 11 or more years of service. In fact, a quarter (24%) of these employees never feel lonely at work.
Jill Cotton, career trends expert at Glassdoor, said: “Cultivating a positive workplace culture is not a ‘nice-to-have’. If employers want to keep talent, they must address the shocking loneliness felt particularly by younger workers.
“Glassdoor’s research demonstrates employees long to feel part of a workplace community and see a good work social life as an indicator of a company they want to stay with. The shift to remote and hybrid work has transformed our social connections with colleagues, and companies and employees must adapt to these changes.”
In terms of socialising, a fifth (20%) of survey respondents claimed that if their social life at work was good, they would stay in a role they didn’t like. This rises to 28% among under 35-year-olds. Additionally, nearly a third (31%) of full-time workers said they are more comfortable being themselves at an organisation with a good social life, but a fifth (20%) think their current place of work does not meet their needs in this area.
More than a quarter (28%) of all employees believe companies are more anti-social since the pandemic, which suggests social lives at work have not yet recovered from Covid.
Just half (51%) of those surveyed connect socially with a colleague once a month or more, with 18% admitting they haven’t socialised with any co-workers in the past year. A quarter (25%) would like to socialise more through work, increasing to 34% among those aged under 35.