I hear from leaders I coach that they’re concerned about how their employees are doing, but they’re afraid to intrude and overstep their boundaries. An article in the Washington Post argues that allowing loneliness to set in is a health risk.
We humans are social beings. Research shows that people who live alone, or report feeling lonely, are more likely to have health challenges. Loneliness puts people in a state of constant, unhealthy unease, which can increase blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Engaging with others reduce our fight or flight response. Connecting with others stops norepinephrine from pushing inflammation into overdrive.
So, people, put your fears aside and reach out to your team members. Offer support beyond that which is traditionally work-related. Even if they don’t take you up on it, your kind offer will go a long way in easing the kind of fear and anxiety that could lead to health problems.