Research perspectives

One in five have no “sense of belonging” at work, research finds

Research by global recruitment specialist Randstad and YouGov has shown that one in five of the UK’s workforce feel they don’t belong at their place of work.

The study, based on the views of nearly two thousand respondents from across both public and private sectors, gives credence to the view that fostering a sense of belonging has been overlooked by employers.

Many respondents said they felt under pressure to hide elements of their lives to fit in at work, relating to their sexuality, their domestic commitments, their background or their health.

The sense of feeling unable to be “authentic” in the workplace was also more pronounced among younger workers (25%), those who identify as bisexual (38%) or those from a minority ethnic background (44%).

In the case of younger workers – who are more likely to feel less secure in their roles and less confident about how their place in the organisation  – some went so far as to refer to themselves as “imposters”.

The research also found that fixed term and freelance working has affected the a sense of belonging, especially now in virtual settings where it was harder to build relationships with colleagues.