Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

It’s lonely at the top: One in four senior leaders admit to feeling isolated at work

While one in five (20.7%) Brits believe that managing a team is a sign of success in the workplace, new research from CV-Library, the UK’s leading independent job board, reveals that it comes at a price. In fact, one in four (27.2%) senior leaders admit to feeling lonely in the workplace, with a further 40.8% claiming that people’s attitudes towards them changed after they moved into the role.

What’s more, the study of 300 senior members of staff across the UK found that loneliness also permeates their personal lives. Shockingly, over half (56.8%) claim that their home life has suffered as a result of work, with a further 54.7% saying that it’s not worth it to be where they are now professionally.

Lee Biggins, founder and CEO of CV-Library, comments: 

“Reaching the top is an attractive goal for many, but even the most senior employees need support in the workplace. Particularly if you’re working long hours and shoulder huge levels of responsibility.

“Naturally, as a senior member of staff, you’ll have to remain neutral towards your teams, but this can result in feelings of exclusion. Moreover, you’ll have a responsibility to provide support to your employees, but don’t forget about yourself! Seek help from other senior members of staff, especially in the transition period after being promoted.”

The study found that senior leaders are most likely to feel lonely in the workplace because they have little in common with their colleagues (42.7%), work in an office on their own (34.4%) and because their colleagues are much younger than them (24.4%). 

When asked what they think are the best ways for employers to prevent loneliness in the workplace, senior leaders suggest the below:

  • Put appropriate support in place (49.2%)
  • Have more office socials (34.5%)
  • Hire a diverse team (32.9%)
  • Construct an open-plan office (28.2%)
  • Improve the on-boarding process (27%)          

Biggins continues: 

As a senior employee, you may feel unable to talk about any feelings of loneliness because of your status in the company. To combat this, it’s important to prioritise your own wellbeing and work closely with other leaders. Whether you organise company socials to blow off some steam away from the workplace, or have regular catch ups with fellow manager, it will help you to forge stronger working relationships. In turn, this should encourage a more open and supportive atmosphere.” 

About CV-Library

CV-Library is one of the UK’s largest online job sites and attracts over 4.3 million unique job seekers every month. Founded by Lee Biggins in 2000, CV-Library is the UK’s leading independent online job board with a database of over 14 million CVs.