With the pandemic, the rise of working from home is contributing to loneliness. More than three million people who do so say it means they don’t see other people often. That’s according to a new study by digital board game group Marmalade Game Studio.
According to the study, nearly one in three adults (29%) say they suffer from loneliness, and one in four (26%) say it has a significant negative impact on their mental health. More than half (52%) of those who suffer from loneliness say it is because they do not have many close friends, while 28% say it is because they live alone. However, 20% say that working from home has worsened their loneliness.
More time with family
Mental health is a major problem for people who suffer from loneliness. Around two-fifths (38%) of people who describe themselves as lonely say that their mental health problems increase their loneliness. Some 89% of people who describe themselves as lonely say that their loneliness harms their mental health, while 13% say it has no impact.
The study by Marmalade Game Studio, which publishes popular digital board games such as Monopoly, Taboo, Cluedo and Jumanji, found that 70% of people who describe themselves as lonely talk to an average of three or fewer family members or friends each week.
Cristina Mereuta, co-CEO of Marmalade Game Studio, reminds us of the impact of the increase in working from home on our respective lives: “Working from home has inevitably increased as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, and while for many this means more time with family, it clearly also contributes to isolation for others.
She also reminds us of the importance of keeping strong ties with loved ones. “Staying connected with friends and family is important for mental health, with one in four adults admitting that loneliness has a seriously negative impact on their mental health.”
Digital games can help
Digital games have been shown to be important for mental health. According to the study, 16% of gamers in the EU say that being able to play online games and connect with others, including families, helped them during lockdowns, and 42% say that playing multiplayer games during lockdowns made them happier.
View the full study here.