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Combating loneliness in the workplace

Caring for the people we love can feel like the most natural thing in the world. Yet, financial, emotional, and even physical demands have the power to create isolation – especially if your caring obligations are less understood in the workplace. On top of this, many people do not identify themselves as carers.

Three million people juggle work while caring, and as many as a third (32%) feel “lonely or isolated” at work due to their responsibilities. Yet, caring in the workplace remains a relatively hidden issue, as the unique challenges associated with juggling care and work duties can isolate workers in this position. 

It can be difficult for carers who work to find the time to look after their own health and well-being. Carers who felt lonely and isolated were almost twice as likely to report a worsened mental (77%) and physical (67%) health. To reduce the negative impact of loneliness, it is important to bring carers together.

Transport for London’s Carers Staff Network is helping to reduce isolation and loneliness by recognising the challenges that carers face.

Sonia Thomas, Chair of Transport for London’s Carers Staff Network Group, says:

"Our Carers Staff Network Group provides a forum for employees to meet fellow carers at TfL and it gives them the opportunity to talk to each other, be supported and share advice. With many carers feeling isolated, we’ve found that the group has a huge impact on those who are part of it because they get the chance to meet other people who understand what they are going through. It makes them feel less alone."

With one third (29%) of carers saying that “being in touch with other carers” would help them feel less lonely, it is no surprise that Staff Networks can make a big impact on workplace morale. Sonia explains the impact of the company’s approach to carers’ support:

“Network groups give staff the opportunity to find out how TfL, as an employer, can support them. By raising awareness of the organisation’s policies, carers can take advantage of things like flexible working and special leave for emergencies. This is why we welcome line managers to the group, too.

Line managers are often eager to find out how they can support their team members with caring responsibilities, as they realise that ignoring the issue is of no benefit to the organisation or the employee. Offering flexibility can make all the difference."

The Carers Staff Network Group hosts everything from informal coffee meets to awareness drives,  and is one of six Networks set up in by TfL with the goal of maintaining and supporting diversity in the workplace. Its success has led members to encourage other employers and employees to follow suit, working with Employers for Carers to share resources which support carers.

Transport for London is a member of Employers for Carers,  a growing membership forum of employers with the goal of sharing practical advice and assistance to support and retain the 1 in 7 carers in their workforce. For more information on joining, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or call 020 7378 4956.

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