It may seem counterintuitive given how crowded local restaurants and roadways are, but we’re in the midst of a loneliness epidemic, as Fortune just reported. To some extent, this is an after-effect of the pandemic, but trends like remote work—a critical factor in helping many workers achieve work-life balance—also play a role. While most of us interact with many people at work every day, often it’s by phone or videoconference, which isn’t quite the same as meeting across a conference room table. Many people are feeling so lonely in this environment that it’s affecting their mental health.
Fortune’s coverage is a good reminder that spending time with friends and family is not just a nice thing to do—it’s important to our well-being and something worth prioritizing. With summer weather here, now is the perfect time to try a new coffee shop, hit the BBQ circuit, watch a movie under the stars or recruit a friend to join you on a long walk with your dog. If you haven’t planned your paid time off, July and August are the perfect times to schedule a few weekend getaways with the folks you’re too busy to see as much as you’d like when deadlines loom.
Now is also an ideal time to reconnect with long lost colleagues you haven’t seen in two or three years. There’s a good reason Gallup reported that people with a best friend at work are more satisfied with their jobs and more successful at them: Colleagues can be a crucial source of informal knowledge, connection, and support.
For people at our firm, getting back into a regular rhythm of having lunch or coffee with colleagues is a great way to tap into Marcum’s culture. If you’re hesitant to reach out because you’re new to our team, you can also get to know your Marcum colleagues at our conferences, charitable fundraisers, and events planned by our associate resource groups. With Marcum growing in leaps and bounds, there are many more new team members to get to know than ever before. It’s a great way to build your network—and the perfect antidote to loneliness.
This weekend is the Fourth of July, and Marcum will be closed this coming Monday and Tuesday to celebrate the holiday. We’re also closed the rest of next week to give our team members a much needed 10-day period with no scheduled work so they have the time to smell the roses as summer begins. We’ll be going on hiatus with this column for the rest of the summer, as we traditionally do, and will return on September 8. I’ll be following my own advice and am looking forward to spending some relaxed family time with Tracy, the kids, and our dogs on the beautiful beaches of Long Island.
Have a great summer everyone!