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Middle East professionals’ work-life balance falls below global average
August 14, 2013 3:35 by Muhammad Aldalou
Having a healthy work-life balance is a priority for the younger workforce in the Middle East, and yet a recent study suggests that working professionals in the region are lagging behind the world average when it comes to juggling work and home life.
Even with 70 per cent of surveyed employees enjoying work now more than they did one year ago and 71 per cent feeling more productive this year, the Middle East scored 117, falling three points behind the global average of 120.
The Work: life Balance Index, conducted by flexible workplace provider Regus, also suggests that companies in the region should let their younger employees work in ways that suit them, rather than the traditional office hours and location set by the company.
Garry Gurtler, vice president Middle East at Regus, says that a work-life balance is at the top of their agenda and that “the tech-savvy generation view work as something you do, rather than somewhere you go”.
He adds: “As an employer, I would emphasise that the younger workforce does not feel it has to remain loyal to an employer in the same way as before. It is crucial to let them work in ways that suit them, rather than fit them to your way of doing things.”
Over the past few years, Kipp has been the recipient of an overwhelming number of surveys, studies and research findings about the happiness and productivity of employees in the Middle East. If the results are anything to go by, then professionals in the region are overworked and stressed, haunted by ‘presenteeism’ at work and too afraid to clock off and take proper holidays.
It is no coincidence that these issues have been more prominently highlighted in the past few years. In fact, as a recent – and quite extensive – study by AON Hewitt on employee engagement in the Middle East suggests, since the region’s market has improved significantly faster than Europe or North America since the global crisis, the expectations of employees have risen as well.
The study states that only six out of 10 employees feel engaged at work, with 47 per cent of employees thinking of leaving their current organisation.