The experience of loneliness at work during the COVID-19 pandemic: a study in the Higher Education Sector

Frost, Fiona (2020) The experience of loneliness at work during the COVID-19 pandemic: a study in the Higher Education Sector. [Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)]

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Loneliness is a complex and multi-faceted concept which is experienced by individuals in different ways. This qualitative study explores sentiments of loneliness at work amongst 35 staff members at the University of Nottingham during the COVID-19 pandemic through the use of interpretive phenomenological analysis (IPA). Existing definitions of loneliness from a philosophical understanding and a social psychology perspective are explored and the subjectivity of loneliness is discussed.

Three key areas in relation to loneliness are explored: how individuals experience positive and negative associations of loneliness at work, how individuals understand their experiences of loneliness at work through the investigation of work-related psychosocial factors and how employers can deal with loneliness at work. The findings of this study highlight the individualistic nature of the experience of loneliness at work and the interrelatedness of the different psychosocial factors.

The participants’ experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic have informed suggestions for HR practitioners in the Higher Education Sector in relation to dealing with sentiments of loneliness at work. Furthermore, a new definition of loneliness in the context of work is proposed to encompass the physical sense and mental sense of the notion. A key area for future research is the emerging theme of personality traits in relation to experiences of loneliness at work.

Item Type: Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)
Depositing User: Frost, Fiona
Date Deposited: 22 Dec 2022 12:56
Last Modified: 22 Dec 2022 12:56

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