In an increasingly interconnected world, it may seem paradoxical that loneliness is on the rise. Loneliness can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, or background. This complex emotional state can have detrimental effects on our mental, emotional, and physical well-being. It has been reported by the McKinsey Health Institute1, that “about 33 percent of people worldwide feel lonely.” When employees are unable to immediately return to work after an injury, they often experience loneliness and feelings of isolation. The effects of loneliness or “worklessness” can cause the affected employees to gradually disengage from their employers and others. Being away from work and in isolation from social interaction can also stir up negative emotions for the injured employee, such as fear, anxiety, and depression. It is important for employers to maintain communication and show their support for their injured employees while they recover.

A well-rounded return-to-work program, like ReEmployAbility’s Transition2Work®, can help bridge the disconnect workers may feel while spending time away from the job. These programs offer an opportunity to experience the benefits of human connection as the employee recovers. Return-to-work programs work to combat loneliness or feelings of isolation that may occur while an injured employee recovers. By partnering with thousands of nonprofits nationwide, Transition2Work provides an opportunity for meaningful human connections to develop among individuals and communities. The benefits of volunteerism and human connection are very similar. Such benefits work toward increasing one’s self-esteem, immune system, trust in others, and many more physical and mental improvements.

The Importance of Meaningful Relationships

Human connection prevents the negative effects of loneliness

Loneliness is more than just the absence of social interaction, it is a deeply rooted feeling of disconnection and isolation. It can manifest even when surrounded by people, emphasizing the importance of quality connections rather than sheer quantity. Human connection has a remarkable ability to heal the wounds of loneliness. Genuine connections can offer emotional support, empathy, and a sense of belonging that we all crave as social beings. During their participation in the Transition2Work program, injured employees meet new people through their nonprofit assignments. These connections can even last beyond their time in the program, where many continue to volunteer in their spare time after they recover. Some even go on to describe the people they work with at their local nonprofits during their recovery as a “second family”. By engaging in meaningful conversations, sharing experiences, and expressing vulnerability, we can cultivate deeper connections that combat feelings of isolation.

Establishing a Sense of Purpose

A great return-to-work program can help you find a new purpose and prevent feelings of loneliness

Sometimes, barriers such as societal norms, fear of rejection, or personal insecurities can hinder our ability to forge meaningful connections. Overcoming these barriers requires a willingness to step out of our comfort zones and initiate conversations. Transition2Work enables injured employees to have new experiences through volunteerism and find their purpose once again. Many Transition2Work participants describe their experiences as “life-changing”, as they recall the time spent recovering at home having a negative impact on their mental health. Simple acts of kindness, such as smiling at a stranger or reaching out to someone in need, can create a ripple effect of human connection, fostering a sense of belonging within our communities.

Connecting with Community

There are so many benefits to volunteering that help solve loneliness

Human connection not only benefits individuals but also strengthens communities. When people feel connected and supported, they are more likely to engage in community activities, collaborate, and help others. The ReEmployAbility team works diligently to onboard more organizations into our Transition2Work nonprofit network to ensure every injured participant has an opportunity to be assigned to a location best suited for their needs. Pairing injured participants with the right nonprofit within their area has a big influence on their experience.

Volunteers are in high demand for many nonprofits around the country. Both staff, patrons, and injured participants are appreciative of the hours contributed to service. By fostering a sense of togetherness, we can create communities that are more resilient, empathetic, and compassionate. Transition2Work allows many injured participants to have a better understanding of the need within their communities they may not have been aware of otherwise. This humbling experience has been proven to have an impactful effect on injured participants’ empathy for others.

In a world where loneliness is increasingly prevalent, human connection remains a powerful remedy. By recognizing the importance of quality connections, breaking down barriers, and nurturing meaningful relationships, we can combat loneliness and foster a sense of belonging. Transition2Work has provided thousands of people with the opportunity to embrace the power of human connection and build communities where no one feels alone, creating a world that thrives on compassion, understanding, and a shared sense of humanity.

Contact us today to learn more!


Constitution State Services. (2023).The Social and Psychological Impact of Injuries at Work. Retrieved 07 June 2023 from,as%20affected%20employees%20gradually%20disengage%20from%20their%20employers

McKinsey & Company. (2023). Loneliness is bad for your health – here’s what to do about it. Retrieved 31 May 2023 from