'Office Anxiety' attacking the minds of Māori

By Stefan Dimitrof

Recently it was reported that at least 50% of New Zealanders were suffering from "office anxiety", which human resource management professor Jarrod Haar says has the exact same effect on Māori.

Haar spoke to teaomāori.news saying Māori are sharing the same challenges as everyone else getting back to work.

“Interestingly, there is no difference for Māori; this is shared equally."

Haar said that even cultural practices such as hongi, hugging and giving a kiss on the cheek, a warm greeting, could be “shunned” by Māori suffering from office anxiety.

“Indeed, those actions are precisely the type of things [alongside working close to co-workers] that will trigger office anxiety.”

Seeing no end near, Haar said the long-term effect of the pandemic were reverberating in Aotearoa and  "normal" wouldn't be seen in the workplace until 2023. “But that assumes no vicious new covid strain, right!?”

Haar said people feeling the effects of office anxiety needed to talk about what they were going through and remember that “they are not alone as half the workforce is feeling it”.

Another by-product of the Covid workplace stresses Haar refers to as ‘The Great Resignation’ as the pandemic has afforded people the time to reflect on their jobs and decide if they want to make a change.

“People have spent time thinking about their job and wanting a change or wanting more income because the cost of living has gone up through in part, supply chain issues.

“It is also firing up people's interest in travel again, whether the Pacific Islands or a full-blown OE. Also, the rise and staying power of hybrid working ie working-from-home have definitely been an upside of Covid."