The US surgeon-general Vivek Murthy recently issued a report calling attention to an epidemic of loneliness and isolation; he warned that people’s lack of social connection was “as dangerous as smoking 15 cigarettes a day”. Worst affected are men: in 2021, a study by the Survey Center on American Life said the percentage of men without any close friends had jumped from 3 per cent to 15 per cent since 1990. Can the workplace help alleviate the problem? Host Isabel Berwick talks to Jonathan Black, FT columnist and director of the University of Oxford’s careers service, FT reporter and Unhedged host Ethan Wu, and Max Dickins, author of the memoir Billy No-Mates: How I Realised Men Have a Friendship Problem.

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Presented by Isabel Berwick. Produced by Audrey Tinline and Laurence Knight. The executive producer is Manuela Saragosa and the sound engineer is Simon Panayi

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