Saudi, UAE professionals happy with work-life balance
Dubai, April 22, 2013
Professionals in the UAE and Saudi Arabia are generally satisfied with their work-life balance and believe they can “have it all” in terms of a successful career and a full life outside of work, according to a new study.
Ninety-four percent of respondents from Saudi Arabia agree that they can successfully combine their work and family lives, the highest rating in the global research, followed by Indonesia (85 per cent) and South Africa (84%), said the study titled “Defining Success” by global research from Accenture.
Meanwhile, three-quarters of UAE respondents believe they can “have it all”, the same figure as the US. Seventy-seven percent of Saudis and 50% of Emiratis also say they can “have it all but not at the same time”.
In November 2012, Accenture conducted an online survey of 4,100 business executives from medium to large organizations in 33 countries, including the UAE and Saudi Arabia. The Middle East findings were presented for the first time today at a gathering of more than 150 professionals in Abu Dhabi hosted by Accenture in celebration of last month’s International Women’s Day.
“Managing work and personal priorities is an ongoing challenge, but according to our research, professionals in the Middle East are more likely to find the right balance and achieve what they define as success,” said Omar Boulos, managing director, Accenture Middle East. “The task of leading companies is sustaining today’s professionals to find the right balance and help them develop, grow and thrive”.
Work-life balance defines career success for the majority of UAE- and Saudi Arabia-based professionals (70% UAE; 61% Saudi Arabia). However, financial reward was a higher priority for UAE executives (60% compared to 36% in Saudi Arabia), while twice as many professionals in the Kingdom believe making a difference in the community is a true definition of success (61% against 37% in the UAE).
The wider adoption of technology is also contributing to work-life balance, according to the findings, with 91% of Saudi professionals and 80% of UAE respondents saying that technology enables them to have a more “flexible” working schedule. These findings are consistent with China, India and Indonesia, where 94%, 91% and 90% of professionals, respectively, also believe technology supports a flexible schedule.
While the majority of Saudi professionals believe they can manage the responsibilities of work and home effectively, nearly three-quarters (72%) describe themselves as “workaholics”, the highest percentage in all of the countries surveyed. India ranks second (64%), followed by the Philippines (61%), and Indonesia and South Africa (58%). Just over half of UAE-based professionals also believe they are “workaholics”.
According to Omar Boulos, Accenture’s “Defining Success” study has major implications for high-performing companies in the region: “Today’s professionals have clearly stated what success means to them, and innovative companies will ensure they find ways to support them. The research indicates that life outside work is just as important as professional achievement, and companies that are sensitive to this trend are likely to see strong employee engagement and enjoy an advantage as they recruit and retain high performers”.
Other key regional findings of Accenture’s global “Defining Success” include:
• Job applications: 57 percent of UAE respondents have turned down or not pursued a job because of the potential impact on their work-life balance, compared to 35% of Saudis. Malaysia topped the rankings with 82% in this category, followed by Indonesia (76%) and Thailand (68%). This compares to 49% in the United States and the UK, 45% in France, 44% in Spain, and 31% in Italy.
• Financial rewards: 60 percent of UAE respondents define success in terms of financial reward, the same figure as the UK, which topped this category, followed by China (59%), Malaysia and United States (57%) and Singapore and India (55%).
• Recognition: 75 percent of Chinese respondents believe that “recognition” defines success, followed by Singapore (59%), India (53%) and the UAE and Germany (52%).
• Social impacts: 61 percent of Saudis, the highest global ranking in the category, say that “social impact or making a difference” defines success in their career. China (53%), Indonesia (43%) and the UAE (37%) also rated “making a difference” highly. - TradeArabia News Service