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Loneliness at Work Survey

There is no doubt that remote work divides opinion. While corporate America continues to roll back its pandemic-era work-from-home policies, the debate around office attendance continues to play out.

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Loneliness at Work Survey


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According to the Pew Research Center, around 22 million people, or around 14% of the U.S. population currently work from home on a permanent basis. Around half of those surveyed (53%) said that the remote conditions make them feel less connected to their co-workers, but this is offset by an improved work-life balance and stronger impetus to meet deadlines.

Supporters of remote work argue that it offers staff greater flexibility to live on their terms. Studies show that physical distance from colleagues increases workers' feelings of isolation, leading to potential physical and mental health issues.

But in 2024, are employees embracing the work-life balance gains of remote employment, or is productivity coming at the cost of isolation? To find out, Ringover has conducted a survey of 1,154 U.S. adults to see how their working arrangements affect their interactions with others.

Key findings

  • Two-thirds of workers (67%) said that they feel lonely at work some or all of the time. A further 22.6% report rarely feeling lonely.
  • Remote workers are by far the most often lonely at work (24%) compared to office workers (12.1%) and hybrid workers (8.6%)
  • People from Generation Z are most likely to feel isolated at work. 79.4% of 18-26 year-olds said they felt lonely—more than millennials (65.2%) and Generation X (62.1%).
  • With an average of 3.9 work friends, remote workers are still more likely to build more relationships than hybrid workers (3.4 work friends).
  • Workers are 15% less likely to feel isolated from colleagues at home when working with someone else in the same household.

Two-thirds of people frequently feel lonely at work

Whether you work in the office or a remote environment, isolation seems to be a real issue for employees of all ages in 2024. Two-thirds of participants (67%) in our survey said they “sometimes” or “often” feel lonely at work. 69.4% of men said they experience feelings of isolation, slightly more than women (65%).

How often do you feel lonely at work?

Interestingly, respondents were less likely to feel alone at work when someone else was at home. 57.6% said they felt isolated when another person worked in the same household, compared to almost three-quarters (74.4%) who were working home alone.

However, the overwhelming majority of remote employees (86%) who responded to our survey said they work alone. This reflects a growing demographic change in America; more than a quarter of U.S. households in 2020 (27.6%) had just one resident. This, according to Census Bureau data, represents a 5% increase from 1980.

Remote workers 98% more likely to suffer severe work loneliness

Whether you work remotely, are in the office full-time, or in a hybrid situation, it seems that a majority of workers feel isolated.

However, while remote working comes with proven benefits, from increased productivity to stronger in-work autonomy, we can see that remote workers are most prone to frequently suffering from work loneliness. In fact, remote workers often suffer from loneliness 98% more of the time when compared to office workers, and 179% more frequently than hybrid workers.

Do you feel lonely at work?

Although loneliness is a problem irrespective of working arrangements, the data does show that remote workers are most vulnerable here with 93.4% saying they have suffered anywhere from ‘rarely' to ‘often' feeling lonely. This is compared to 93.1% of hybrid workers and 83.9% of office workers.

Younger generations affected most by work loneliness

Our research also reveals a generation gap between feelings of isolation among workers. The youngest, Generation Z, are most likely to feel lonely, with 79.4% of 18-26 year-olds claiming this is the case often or sometimes. Many from ‘Gen-Z' found themselves entering the workforce during the early 2020s, and often feel disillusioned with work after such a turbulent start to their careers.

Do you feel lonely at work survey

While people from all generations said in the majority that they felt isolated at work at least sometimes, it seems the problem is most likely to affect the under-40s. 65.2% of Millennials (aged between 27 and 42) said they felt lonely. Research from the Centers for Disease Control shows that mental health conditions are on the rise among young people, with one in three teens now affected.

Workplace crisis pull quote

Is hybrid work the answer to workplace loneliness?

As a solution to the distance of remote work, HR teams often propose a hybrid solution as a compromise between the individual's work-life balance and closer collaboration between team members in the same physical space. A Gallup poll found that eight in 10 workers prefer the flexibility of hybrid; it remains the most popular arrangement for remote-capable employees.

Would you want more time socializing with your colleagues in a normal week?

Does this mean hybrid workers are less likely to feel isolated? Our survey shows that overall, 83.9% of workers want to spend more time hanging out with colleagues. While one in five remote employees (20.5%) feels content without this, hybrid workers (90.5%) are most likely to desire more social interaction.

Our survey also reveals hybrid workers are less likely to have work friends than those working fully remote or on-site. We found that people who went into the office five days a week had an average of 4.3 friends in their team, more than the 3.9 average for home workers. However, hybrid workers had just 3.4 friends.

On average, how many work friends do you have?

As a result, less than 2% of hybrid workers find themselves missing out on social events, compared with one in 10 (9.4%) remote staff who never engage in social activities with their colleagues.

How often do you have social activities with your team?

Solutions to workplace isolation

Opening up and speaking about our vulnerabilities to our colleagues might seem daunting, but remote workers seem most willing to share their feelings of isolation with their colleagues — 86% agreed.

While virtual messaging networks like Slack and Microsoft Teams can be improperly used and lead to digital information overload on employees, remote workers seem to use these tools to have candid conversations privately with their co-workers.

Would you feel comfortable talking about loneliness with a colleague?

We also asked our participants whether they felt their employer could do more to help its workforce feel less isolated. The most common response was more social activities (14.3%). Virtual work parties became popular during 2020 as teams were unable to meet in person, but “Zoom fatigue” also pushed workers from non-essential online interactions to prevent burnout.

What could your employer do to prevent loneliness at work?

Other suggestions included more information on colleagues and their interests to break the ice (11%) and work retreats. As virtual teams grow in popularity, corporate team getaways have become more common as organizations aim to recreate the office's water-cooler culture.

While the ‘Great Resignation' of 2021 has since been replaced by the “Great Stay” as employees find roles that suit their choice of working arrangement, our research shows that quitting to combat loneliness remains a possibility. 38.5% of workers who said they ‘often' feel lonely in their jobs said that they consider leaving them on a daily basis.

How often do you think about quitting?

Overall, 44.3% of people surveyed told us they consider quitting on a daily basis. This rises to more than half (54.6%) if Gen-Z workers are considered. The workforce's youngest generation dominated the headlines for unwillingness to compromise on roles that wouldn't support them during the early 2020s.

Creating a company culture that prevents isolation among workers is vital for any organization. This survey shows that companies must continue to promote inclusivity among teams to get the best out of their staff.


Between 03/12/2024 and 03/14/2024, a total of 1,154 full-time employed U.S. adults were surveyed about their experiences and attitudes around loneliness at work, and whether their working arrangement causes feelings of isolation. We surveyed respondents who work in a range of conditions; including fully-remote (37.1% of respondents), hybrid (24.4%), and full-time in the office (38.5%).

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