Back to Human

Back to Human

How Great Leaders Create Connection in the Age of Isolation




  • Well Structured
  • Concrete Examples
  • For Beginners


Today’s social communications technologies and apps drive people apart. Isolation, loneliness and depression are on the rise, especially among youth who are addicted to social media and texting. Impersonal communications erode trust, camaraderie and collaboration. This leaves the majority of your workforce disengaged. Dan Schawbel, a Facebook and app-loving millennial, urges you to “put down your phone, turn off your notifications and get offline.” He offers the radical suggestion that you get up and go see people in person. New entrants to the workforce, and especially new leaders, can learn a lot from Schawbel’s guidance – especially given the slim chance that he convinces you to balance screen time with face time. 


The Lonely Generation: Addressing Isolation

Technology, particularly computers, smartphones and social media apps, enables unprecedented but superficial connectivity. They contribute to isolation and loneliness, especially among those most addicted to them – youth. People feel cut off at work and elsewhere; they collaborate, but mostly through devices. Many individuals crave real, in-person time with other people but, instead, suffer isolation, even in big firms or major cities.

Isolation causes stress, anxiety and, eventually, grave mental conditions. At work, isolation erodes trust, engagement and performance. Participation in social media doesn’t offer a remedy; it hampers interpersonal skills and harms well-being. Leaders must focus on reducing isolation and turnover while increasing engagement and productivity by improving the following elements of workplace culture:

Reduce Stress

Pay people fairly to remove the biggest cause of stress – financial worry. Focus your teams on building strong, trusting relationships. Trust has a positive effect on well-being and...

About the Author

Dan Schawbel leads research for Future Workplace and speaks at events and conferences globally about the generations, personal branding and careers.

More on this topic

Connection Culture, Second Edition
Making Work Human
Office Optional
Stronger Through Adversity
Leading with Gratitude
Creating Introvert-Friendly Workplaces

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