It’s no surprise that the Covid-19 pandemic has increased social isolation and feelings of loneliness for many people living in New Zealand.
Stats NZ figures show that the incidence of prolonged loneliness increased from 3.5 per cent of the adult population (15+) before lockdown to 10.6 per cent during lockdown before slightly falling to 8.7 per cent post-lockdown.
It can impact many groups in our community for many different reasons including older and younger people not living in a family environment, recent migrants separated from family and friends living overseas yet to make meaningful connections in their new home, or those struggling to gain acceptance from family, which can be a particular experience for those in the Rainbow community. People with accessibility needs, people dealing with mental health challenges and neurodivergent people who encounter barriers to socialising can also be disproportionately affected.
We know that our workplaces can be a valuable source of social connection, healing and even, in some cases, a form of refuge for people when cultures of inclusion are fostered.
But how do we cultivate that social connection given the increase of remote working in the past two years? What can we do to support our people during the New Zealand summer/festive season which can bring increased feelings of loneliness for so many at the exact time our workplaces empty out?
This session explores how inclusive workplaces can be a antidote to social isolation in today’s Aotearoa.
- Robin Davies (Robin Davies Consulting)
- Sirr Christoffersen (Wellbeing Consultant, Auckland Transport & Partner at Mt Eden Counselling & Psychotherapy