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The New Norm: Hedonic Adaptation Phase

Parker, David W. and Jones, Morris (2021) The New Norm: Hedonic Adaptation Phase. Management Services Journal.

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Never before has management services been so vital to enterprises. It is incumbent upon our profession to ensure that workers have a safe environment and that activities do not result in harm – physical and psychological. COVID-19 has triggered a paradigm shift in society and work practices that now challenge the very bedrock of what we regard as normality. For instance, working from home (wfh) has identified numerous challenges for both workers and organisations1. What is also evident, is that the once strong support for stopping the spread of COVID-19 as a priority over economic recovery has swung considerably – even though numbers of infections has continued to rise. However, after some nine months of embracing the pandemic’s impact on virtually every facet of life, the health and wellbeing of people is now seriously at risk. Mental health-related compensation claims have risen 80% since COVID-19; and during this period more than a million Australians have sought mental health treatment, representing a 36% increase. This initial increase in psychological problems was to be expected. Indeed, with any significant change to hitherto embedded practices, there are invariably emotional reactions: the classic and recognisable fright, fear, fight, flight. However, the likelihood is that the change becomes normalised: described by the notion of hedonic adaptation – where the impact of a change is absorbed and becomes the ‘new norm’. For many, the changes have become accepted, but for others there is emotional resistance that could develop into psychological withdrawal. Meanwhile, what then are the lessons to be learned and what actions are required? What additional responsibilities must organisations bear to support staff? What leadership style is needed? What should be the organisation’s communication strategy? What must organisations do to minimise psychological health issues?

Item Type: Other
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Divisions: School of Business and Management (SBM)
Depositing User: David Parker
Date Deposited: 09 May 2022 23:58
Last Modified: 09 May 2022 23:58

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