According to a recent “Work-life Balance in the MENA” poll conducted by Bayt.com, the region’s number one job site, the ability to maintain a decent work-life balance is key to achieving personal happiness and job satisfaction. In fact, 26.9% of employees believe that their poor work-life balance has jeopardized both their mental health and happiness, and a staggering 64.8% would even accept a pay cut in order to have more free time on their job.
“Work can take precedence over people’s personal lives and, while some employees are willing to make such sacrifices, others are striving to attain a healthier balance between the realms of work and life,” said Suhail Masri, VP Sales, Bayt.com. “This trend can redefine the employment landscape, prompting employers to search for methods to improve well-being and reduce stress among their staff.”
While 43.3% of the poll’s respondents do not consider that they have built a successful work-life balance, 22.2% believe that what is most needed to achieve a better balance is greater productivity at the workplace. “The truth is, long hours do not necessarily lead to an enhanced performance,” added Masri. “Highly efficient work is more valuable and can significantly boost work-life balance as well as stimulate employee engagement. On their part, employers should recognize the strong correlation between healthy work-life balance practises and employee motivation and dedication.”
The survey also indicates that while 6 out of ten working adults 64.8% spend enough time on learning pursuits, 36.2% are looking for more free time to spend with loved ones. Sacrificing family time has long been regarded as a major pitfall of professional success; after all, according to the study, 27.8% of employees work outside of regular hours by necessity, not by choice.
Stress management and fitness are integral factors for sustaining wellness and with today’s professionals spending an increasing amount of time at the office, these two elements are becoming considerably more difficult to accomplish. The study actually reveals that the majority of employees 57% do not spend a sufficient amount of time on sports and exercise, while 14.5% say that an uneven work-life balance is causing them high levels of stress. The most prevalent source of stress among most employees (16.1%), however, remains a low income. In terms of actual job satisfaction, results demonstrate that while 49.1 % of poll respondents enjoy their work on most days, 15.4 % categorically dislike their line of profession.
On a positive note, 89.3% of the respondents believe that balancing between work and life is absolutely possible. As for solutions to their current unbalanced lifestyle, 40.9% of professionals state that working the same number of hours with a higher salary would resolve their employment issues, whereas 22.8% would opt for a flexitime arrangement with similar hours, and 10.4% would prefer a work-from-home arrangement.
The analysis also shows that an inadequate lifestyle not only affects personal wellbeing, but also other aspects of employees’ lives: for 15.6% of respondents, it hinders professional and personal growth, and for 7.8%, it deters performance on the job. Other areas touched by this matter include relationships with family 8.7%, physical health 7.3%, and relationships with colleagues at work 5.6%.
Data for the Bayt.com “Work-life balance in the MENA” poll was collected online from July 22 – August 13, 2012, with 8,287 respondents covering more than 12 countries in the MENA region.