The Bayt.com ‘Distractions at Work in the MENA’ poll, recently conducted by Bayt.com, the region’s number one job site, has revealed that more than half of respondents in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region find distraction at work to be a big problem. Social media sites are seen to be the worst for snatching attention away from work. However, eight out of 10 respondents believe that they are efficient at their job, despite the distractions.
59.3% of MENA respondents consider that having their attention snatched away from work is a ‘big problem’, and that the main culprit for distraction is social media, according to 24.7%. Yet, other activities rank highly on the list of top distractions as well, with respondents saying these are their top distractions: colleagues and the chance to socialise (18.3%); news websites (10.2%, with 31.2% stating that their efficiency at work is affected by news coming from neighbouring countries); work-related matters that are not linked to current tasks are also considered to be big distractions (10%); email (8%), instant messaging (4.3%), and YouTube (2.7%). Meanwhile, a large 21.8% of respondents say that all of the above are equally as distracting.
A more professional work environment would help 30.2% of respondents to be less distracted, while 23.3% state that they would be more likely to concentrate more on work if they had a better work/life balance. A fifth (21.4%) would like more challenging work to keep them occupied. More than a third (37.3%) take short breaks from work once a day; almost a quarter (22.4%) go twice a day, with 18.7% taking a break every 2-3 hours.
Tiredness does not seem to be a big issue for most MENA employees, with seven out of 10 (67.1%) saying they rarely or never feel sleepy at work. On the other hand, news and events coming from neighbouring MENA countries seems to be a cause of anxiety to 12.7% of respondents, with 31.2% saying that their work productivity has been affected by “checking the news all day”.
Despite all of the distractions, 83.5% of respondents consider themselves to be efficient at work, and three quarters (73.9%) working from a to-do list in the office. Almost half (45.2%) plan their tasks a week in advance, with four in 10 (38.8%) planning them every morning. More than eight in 10 polled professionals (85%) said that they have set long-term goals to guide them, which is a good practice.
“It is interesting that a fifth of respondents would like more challenging work to be less distracted, and that a further quarter claim that a better work-life balance would result in less distractions,” said Suhail Masri, VP of Sales, Bayt.com. “This points to fact that more can be done by employers around the MENA to make their employees more satisfied at work. At Bayt.com, our common, firm-wide values of striving to be the best, empowering others to lead better lives, and creating value by doing more with less help us in hiring and retaining top staff and translate into great philosophy, strategy, and tactics for optimizing employee loyalty, satisfaction and engagement. It is this framework that revolves around our mission, vision and values that has had Bayt.com awarded the ‘Top Ten Places to Work in the UAE’ award for three consecutive years as well as People and Culture of the Year” from in the prestigious SMEInfo Award (2012). To cut distractions at work, try to build an amazing workplace is all about balancing great physical spaces with the right human factor. Possibilities are endless when it comes to creating winning office environments, and with collaborative efforts and the intent this is very much achievable.”
Data for the Bayt.com ‘Distractions at Work in the MENA’ poll was collected online from October 27 – November 20 2013, with 6,704 respondents from UAE, KSA, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia.