Lone Working tends to involve staff performing tasks alone in the office, visiting clients in the community or field work.

Remote Working is another category which may be used to describe staff who frequently work alone at home.

These home based workers are usually ‘risk assessed’ by employers under Duty of Care to reduce the likelihood of an accident occurring [eg tripping over a cable].

A new survey of 2,000 employees in 10 countries has been conducted by Future Workplace/Virgin Pulse. It found that employees increasingly depend upon technology to communicate with colleagues, including email [45%], text [15%] and instant messaging [12%].

Of those using email, 40% said they always or often felt lonely and had a high need for social connection.

In the US, one third of all staff often work remotely, but just 5% see themselves staying at the same company for their remaining career. Remote workers are more likely to resign because of loneliness and low engagement. 

The research shows that employees will work harder if they have a sense of connection and it is important for managers to encourage remote workers to lead meetings, ideally via videoconferencing. It is crucial for remote workers to cultivate friendships. Over 50% surveyed have less than 6 friends.

60% said they would be more likely to stay if they had more friends.

Even if you love your job, everyone needs a break.

In Japan, every citizen has the right to take Monday mornings off.

In Germany, stressed workers are entitled to 3 weeks at a spa, free of charge.

In Italy, in addition to 7 weeks paid holiday, workers also get double pay in December.

The people you work with are more important than what you do.

It is recommended that employers and staff carefully consider both the physical and mental wellbeing issues involved before embarking upon remote working.