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Social Wellness: A Determining Factor For Employee Wellness At Work

7 min read
Last Updated on 05 January, 2024

Imagine a workplace where you feel isolated and disconnected. You come to work, do your job, and then go home without interacting with other co-workers. Such a work environment can lower morale, decrease productivity, and cause poor mental health.

On the other hand, imagine a workplace where you are positively engaged with everyone. You socialize with everyone. Get to know each other outside of work and feel a sense of support and connectedness. Positive relationships with family, friends, and community can make one feel happier, more fulfilled, and less stressed.

Staying motivated, engaged, and satisfied in the mantra of successful workplace culture. This is the power of social wellness in the workplace.

What is Social Wellness?


One of the hallmarks of social wellness is being inclusive, not exclusive, with our friendship.
- Laurie Buchanan, PhD.

Social wellness or social well-being refers to the development of positive relationships with other people. Your social health is often indicative of your emotional and physical well-being. It is a factor of friendship boost and strong social connection, whether professional or personal.

At the workplace, it is defined as the relationships you have with your co-workers, supervisors, or employees. Apart from this, it generates a sense of social engagement as a part of positive employee benefits.

Thus, social interaction is essential for our overall health, so much so that the quality of our social relationships directly impacts our behavioral health, physical health, emotional health, and mortality risk.

These relationships can be friendships, romantic partners, platonic relationships, mentor-student relationships, acquaintances, relationships with neighbors, professional associations, etc.

Read our blog: 7 Ways to Overcome Social Challenges affecting Behavioral Health in the Workplace

Importance of Social Wellness


Employees who feel connected and friendly are likelier to feel positive about their work. And more willing to go above and beyond to contribute to the company's success. Thus, social wellness is important for the workplace. It is also crucial for employees' overall well-being.

So, what can employers do to promote social wellness in the workplace? They can start by creating opportunities for employees to get to know one another outside of work tasks. They can conduct team-building activities or social wellness events like walkathons, water challenges, or company outings.

Employers can also encourage open communication and collaboration among team members, creating a sense of teamwork and shared purpose. And they can prioritize creating a supportive work environment where employees feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and ideas.

Employers can create a positive work environment by prioritizing social wellness activities in the workplace. Employees must feel valued, supported, and engaged in giving their best. And that's a recipe for success for both the employee and the organization.

Listen to: How Self-Care Collective Wellness Is Part Of Burnout Relief?

A good corporate wellness program sometimes solves half of the issues.

Employees' social relationships and social networks impact our overall wellness in the workplace .

Let us understand how.

Relation Between Social Wellness And Employee Well-Being


When your connections get stronger with time, your stress levels reduce drastically. Your responses to stressful situations improve. With reduced stress and anxiety, your immune system strengthens, the endocrine system is healthier, and heart health improves tremendously.

According to Ashlee Bost, a marriage and family therapist associate at Covenant Health, "...people who do have healthy relationships and good support systems have better overall mood, deal better with stress and have increased self-esteem."

Conversely, socially isolated people have a higher chance of developing chronic diseases and illnesses. It can create a sense of disengagement from real life.

Poor social wellness may lead to:

  • Weak immune system
  • Heart diseases
  • High blood pressure
  • Poor mental health
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Raised stress hormones

Workplace stress is one of the leading causes of stress among American adults. Workplaces are usually very stressful, but they can also be turned into a place of comfort.

Hectic deadlines, working shifts, less pay, and lack of communication among peers, supervisors, and managers are a few reasons that might lead to stress in the workplace. This may lead to poor performances and employee burnout.

To combat such situations, employers must have a solid and dependable plan for their employees. From this, employees can seek guidance and social support and stay healthy.

3 Ways To Show And Gain Social Social Support At Work

Here are three ways in which an organization as a whole can acclimate to social wellness.

1. Emotional


In your everyday lives, especially when faced with a challenging situation, we depend on your social relationships to guide you with emotional support. In times of crisis, emotional support is one of the three ways we gain social support from our social connections.

Read our blog on: Ways to Boost up Emotional Resilience in the Workplace

2. Instrumental


It is usual and typical to depend on your social connections to help us with something tangible, like money and other resources. This is an instance of showing and providing social support instrumentally.

3. Informational


The third way of providing and gaining social support from your social circle can be termed 'informational' social support. Helping your social peers with information and knowledge falls under this category.

Listen to: The Impact of Compassion Fatigue and Moral Injury on Employee Productivity and Retention

To keep a tab on the overall social wellness of your company, take a survey on how they feel about work relationships.

13 Different Ways to Improve Social Wellness in the Workplace to Enhance Employee Engagement


To maintain your social wellness, you must nurture and take care of your relationships in the workplace.

Cultivate social wellness, involve and engage in the following activities:

  1. Develop and maintain long-term relationships with employees and co-workers.
  2. Build healthy and positive relationships and learn more assertive skills.
  3. Create boundaries that encourage communication, trust, and conflict management.
  4. Have mutual trust and respect for each other.
  5. Actively listen to each others' concerns and provide empathetic suggestions when necessary.
  6. Support your employees and colleagues in times of crisis.
  7. Appreciate your employees and colleagues for a job well done: give them credit where credit is due.
  8. Be honest and considerate in your critique of their work.
  9. Fight any feelings of envy, and be genuinely happy for your co-workers' successes.
  10. Participate in different activities together, e.g., lunch and learn sessions at work, office wellness challenges, being a member of an exercise group, etc.
  11. Practice empathy.
  12. Keep professional and personal relationships separate.
  13. Healthy employees feel a sense of belonging to the Workplace and leave a positive impact on others.

Related: 21 Positive Thinking Ideas For A Workplace To Encourage

Facts and Stats on Social Wellness


Here are some fascinating and important facts and statistics on social wellness:

  • The death rate of socially isolated people is two or three times higher than those with healthy social relationships.
  • Approximately 20 percent of Americans feel lonely in their free time.
  • Close friendships lead to higher levels of immunoglobulin that help fight respiratory infections and cavities.
  • Touching, hugging, and laughing improve health.
  • The Harvard Study of Adult Development found that the quality of social relationships mattered more than the quantity.
  • According to Mayo Clinic, "Adults with strong social support have a reduced risk of many significant health problems, including depression, high blood pressure and an unhealthy body mass index (BMI)."
  • Research by Shawn Achor found that having social connections is a helpful predictor of reduced stress.

Wrapping Up

"The secret to getting ahead is getting started."

How you feel and perform at your Workplace depends significantly on your social wellness. Your social wellness, in turn, depends on the relationships and social connections that you form at work.

Thus, take your time to build a solid social support network that contributes to your emotional well-being. A little extra effort in building these relationships will ensure that you have a trusted group of people who look out for you in success and failure.

Positive relationships that reciprocate your respect, trust, and admiration will significantly peak your overall wellness, mood, and self-esteem.



1. How can employers promote social wellness in the workplace, and what benefits can they expect to see as a result?

Employers can promote social wellness in the workplace by encouraging team-building activities, creating opportunities for employees to collaborate and socialize, and fostering a culture of inclusivity and belonging. Promoting social wellness includes increased employee engagement, reduced turnover, and improved productivity.

2. What are some common barriers to social wellness at work, and how can employees and employers work together to overcome them?

Common workplace barriers to social wellness can include workplace culture that discourages socializing, lack of diversity and inclusion, and remote work. Employers can work to overcome these barriers by prioritizing social activities, implementing policies encouraging inclusivity, and providing opportunities for virtual social interaction.

3. What are some effective strategies for employees to improve their social wellness at work, even remotely or in a virtual environment?

Strategies for employees to improve social wellness at work include reaching out to coworkers to build relationships, participating in team-building activities, and seeking out virtual opportunities to socialize, such as online chat groups or video meetings.

4. Can social wellness at work positively impact employee productivity and job satisfaction, and if so, how?

Yes, social wellness at work can positively impact employee productivity and job satisfaction. When employees feel connected and supported in their workplace, they are more likely to feel motivated and engaged, leading to higher productivity and job satisfaction.

This article is written by Priyakshi Sharma who is a content marketer at Vantage Circle. In her free time, she is found writing about cinema, life, and everything in between. For any related queries, contact

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