The devastating cost of Britain’s isolation epidemic | Daily News Byte


Young people are also spending more time in the virtual world than the real one. These “digital distractions” have gotten so bad that councils in Sydney and Seoul have installed stop/go lights in the floor so pedestrians can see if it’s safe to cross without looking up from their phones. It has saved lives. Results of a five-year trial in South Korea showed pedestrian injuries fell by a fifth while fatalities fell by 40 percent.

But Moore of the Jo Cox Foundation says being online all the time can make feelings of loneliness worse.

“I think there is an assumption that young people are always on their phones and always connected. But there is a difference between being in touch with someone and being truly connected,” she says. “So you can chat with someone on Instagram, but that doesn’t mean you’re actually a true friend with them.”

Hertz says the impact on employees of a permanent move to work from home can be huge. “We know that lonely workers are less motivated, less productive and more likely to quit than non-lonely workers.”

This trend may be a factor behind the UK’s “great resignation”, where more people have moved jobs or given up work altogether since the pandemic.

According to the ONS, there have been a record four million job-to-job moves in the UK in the past year.

While much of this reflects a tight job market, Hertz says the way we work has historically incorporated the idea of ​​a job for life, including working from home.

“Work has become increasingly transactional and commodified,” she says. “It’s very hard to feel part of an organization if you don’t see anyone. An entire generation of new employees has rarely met their peers in person, and so you’re much less likely to have a sense of loyalty.”

She says companies will spend huge sums of money to train people, only to have them leave.

“I think you have to think about how it’s going to affect turnover, work culture, our ability to innovate, collaborate and actually deliver if we have an increasingly fragmented workforce who are increasingly disconnected from each other.”


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