BE Offices is looking to combat loneliness through the power of coffee – the very thing that gets us going in the morning and gives us a break from our computer screens during the day.
Whilst we are all painfully aware of the obvious effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, a silent epidemic is also sweeping the nation, loneliness.
Through our ‘Coffee’s to Combat Loneliness’ campaign we are proud to be supporting mental health charity Mind who provide essential aid to those struggling with their mental health.
From today, for an entire month, 10p from every coffee purchased in The Lounge at 150 Minories in Aldgate will go directly to Mind which recently reported that nearly two thirds of people across England have admitted that their mental health has deteriorated during lockdown.
While working from home has been a new and exciting experience for some, for those living on their own, the long-term effects of missing out on daily social interaction with colleagues has been a significant contributory factor to the loneliness epidemic, indeed a YouGov survey found that 49% of office staff miss the relationships forged in the office.
Social interaction in the workplace extends so much further than the light-hearted office chat and jokes that often bring a team closer together; socialising improves collaboration, teamwork and communication amongst the workforce. On a personal level, social interaction is known to boost feelings of wellbeing and reduce feelings of depression, it has even been associated with a stronger immune system.
We are still navigating our new normality and have seen a steady increase in the number of people returning to the workplace. We should be aware that the couple of days we see our colleagues might just be the only days, out of the five-day working week, that they get to chat and socialise. Perhaps now is the time to seek out a colleague with whom you don’t usually socialise and, over a coffee, make a point of checking in to see how they have coped.
Coffees to combat loneliness is our way of highlighting the challenges many people have faced and silently endured throughout lockdown, whilst supporting a charity which is facing increasing pressures due to the mental health fallout from the COVID-19 crisis.
So, the next time you fancy a coffee break we would encourage you to invite someone to join you, the benefits may be more far-reaching than you think.
by Julie Tucker, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager