May 11, 2018

Loneliness Epidemic

Loneliness Epidemic

In a city that’s home to millions of people, like New York, it is still possible to rush through the day without really connecting with another person. We’re all so busy these days that we don’t make as much time as we could to slow down and talk with the people all around us.

That’s taking its toll, says a nationwide survey, and not only in New York. This survey found that 50% of Americans feel left out or alone “always” or “sometimes.” Among the 20,000 respondents, 54% said they “always” or “sometimes” feel no one knows them well. The youngest generation, Generation Z (born between the mid-1990s and early 2000s), was the loneliest of all, followed by Millennials.

As a dad of young adults, this makes me profoundly sad. Those of you who are regular readers know that among my five children, I have two sons in their twenties, Isaac and Leo. I would be devastated to find out they felt isolated.

Reading the survey made me wonder about the experiences of our Marcum Millennials. Yes, they are the best and brightest but that doesn’t mean they are immune to this type of isolation and loneliness. I wonder, how many are showing us their best face at work but, beneath the surface, share in this generational pain?

The time we all spend on social media probably isn’t helping this issue. Looking at photos of your friends’ latest date or their vacation just isn’t the same thing as spending time with them in person.

Here at Marcum, we prize the relationships we build internally with our associates and do all we can to make sure they feel connected. When new team members come on board, we make sure they don’t have to figure everything out on their own. Mentors offer one-on-one training and guidance, so new people don’t feel isolated, start building relationships with our clients and with other Marcum team members and have someone to turn to when they need a little career advice or a pep talk. Our senior associates make sure our junior associates know the welcome mat is always out, despite the hustle and bustle in our offices. As mentors, they’ll take the time to pick up the phone or walk down the hall and chat, instead of sending an email, and will often invite our junior team members to lunch to see how they’re doing. In doing so, they model how we want all our associates to interact with our clients.

At the heart of things, we’re in a relationship business at Marcum and we want everyone on our team to embrace this. The chemistry between our clients and their Marcum professionals is what makes the whole thing work. Though technology is extremely important to our business and we continue to make huge investments in it, one key reason we’ve been able to have success is because we take the time to really get to know the people who use our services. We’ve been with many of our clients for decades and we cherish those relationships. We stand by them through not just business events but life events, as well. Many clients take us into their inner circle, introducing us to the important people in their lives, as well as their other advisors. That’s what it takes to build a lasting relationship that goes far beyond being a service provider.

In the fast-paced world, of accounting, many of us spend more time at work than we do anywhere else during the week (especially during tax season!). Taking a little extra time to get to know each other and our clients makes daily life a lot richer for all of us.

Sunday is Mother’s Day. Whether it’s a card, flowers, candy, phone call, text, meal or any other form of acknowledgment, don’t let the day go by without acknowledging that special place in your heart that all of our mothers fill. Happy Mother’s Day, Mom.