Puerto Rico, UK, Scientist discussed on WorkLife with Adam Grant
The. Us Isn't the only country where government officials are worried about loneliness. There's one country that's taken a much bigger step on. The Minister of Land Meanness Minister of Loneliness. Is that a job at hogwarts. Well some people think that the has parliament but I've had more correspondence more interest on this subject than anything else is responsible for. Data Baron is a member of British parliament. Loneliness is a big problem in the UK even pre brexit in one survey up to a fifth of all UK adults felt lonely most or all of the time so in two thousand eighteen parliament created an official program to help check in on people who lacked strong social ties and a number of big British companies signed a pledge to improve employees connections. I chatted with Baroness Baron for a few minutes during the recent brexit negotiations and. She told me that she herself felt lonely when she began her. Tenure in parliament arrived. Enormous has six hundred best friends. And you don't know anyone. We were all there at some point in high school but loneliness can be just as difficult to deal with as we grow up. Which is why it's important to talk about it. People are very reluctant to talk about. Ns because they feel it's passed failure. I think pretty much everybody does. I mean I think the fact is the most people talk passage. She's been keeping track of a few workplace practices that have brought people together to work places that like evicted with his photo. Sharing have created the conditions to help people connect more meaningfully of implies benched useful pulled shouting tables so it means that if you send it back table expats instead. I have to say I love the idea of a chatty table it might be the most British thing I've ever heard. Well we have one even over-fish which is the friendly bench. I've heard about that. Tell me more send a friendly banshee and find the park and it's an out too fattening table I have to say. I don't think I'd want to sit on. One of those benches preferred not to be approached. These kinds of programs aren't enough by themselves to transform an organizational culture. But they can open a door and send a signal that it's okay to see connection with your colleagues now not. Everyone works on a team that prioritizes connection sometimes. We have to take matters into our own hands colleagues. I think here the culture is more like people seem to want to be more separate police colleagues. Who are friends and so that feels a little bit isolating? My Name. Is Dr Lose Cloudy. I'm an environmental health scientist at Mount Sinai School Medicine. And what in the world is an environmental health scientist? It's not like being in forest. In counting animals is more about. We can protect people from environmental toxins. We talk a lot about data. You seem so sociable. I would've thought you like people too much to do this. Kind of solitary work. It is lonely work in a way but also because I am partaken and as you grow in this field because there's so few people of Color in science the higher you go up the academic ladder the lonelier unknown Jerry becomes because you're one of the few people who are from that background loose grew up in Puerto Rico with a huge family around. She likes going places in grips and she loves SALSA DANCING. Oh I love science music my favorite thing to do outside of work in South Asia. I tried to engage with you. Try to motivate people in my office. Oh there's a new restaurant nearby you WANNA come check it out. And every every other week I would say I'm quitting tussle seeing. Who's coming with me and feeling nobody did? Loose was starved for belonging. For sense of connection with people she identified with. She realized that her New York colleagues weren't going to get a socialist. She wanted she needed to do something to combat her loneliness so she decided to build a workplace community from scratch. She started with interns. Yes I was able to secure funding to bring in Underrepresented minorities in in science to work in our department. I try to create a sense of community among them yesterday. I bought cupcakes after they had a a lunch seminar so we had a time together at the kitchen talking about how they're feeling and how it's going for them in the internship program so. I try to bring them together as much as I can. When your organization lacks a sense of community or you feel out of place in the existing culture you can build your own micro community. It's a group of people who understand you share your interests that could be people who go on runs before work or it might be a book club or even a podcast club that micro community connect outside of work or during work hours and as loose found. It doesn't have to be a group of Pierce. Now she could connect and share her interest in Puerto Rican cultural events with others at work like when a hurricane hit Puerto Rico and loose was hosting visiting interns whose universities had closed down. They were missing home a lot. And if I know of our concert of music from Puerto Rico I would invite him there and so I think that served to help to give them a sense of belonging that maybe they don't have you know in the everyday in the work. Is this something that you've done when you're feeling low? May you know you create this experience for other people in it also helps you feel connected definitely because the cultural isolation has been something that I've experienced so much so for me surrounded myself on with people even though their interns and more junior but just having them around really helps me feel less lonely. On top of building a micro community loose was doing something else important here. Something that directly affected her loneliness. There's evidence that helping others makes us feel less lonely. It allows us to feel that we matter there were noticed and valued and appreciated for loose creating a space for young people of Color to get a foothold in science. Helped her feel more connected to people at work? Helping others helped her by now. She's been running intern programs at work for fifteen years. She's expanded the micro community into an alumni network and loose feels less isolated whenever this seminar in my workplace. I'm the one who the faculty member who comes in with an entourage of minority students. Not everyone is in a position to hire a community around them but the number of friends. You need to avoid feeling. Lonely work is smaller than you might think. And the kind of interaction you need is more basic more on that after the break. Okay this is going to be a different kind of add. I've played a personal role in selecting the sponsors for this podcast because they all have interesting cultures their own today. We're going inside the workplace at sap..