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Work-life balance 'key to career growth'

Dubai, September 17, 2012

More than 80 per cent of professionals in the Mena region plan to change their jobs in order to improve their work-life balance, thus placing emphasis on importance of personal wellness, said a survey.

The ability to maintain a decent work-life balance is key to achieving personal happiness and job satisfaction, according to a recent “Work-life Balance in the Mena” poll conducted by leading job site

In fact, 26.9 per cent of employees believe that their poor work-life balance has jeopardized both their mental health and happiness, and a staggering 64.8 per cent 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,

“This trend can redefine the employment landscape, prompting employers to search for methods to improve well-being and reduce stress among their staff,” he stated.

While 43.3 per cent of the poll’s respondents do not consider that they have built a successful work-life balance, 22.2 per cent 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,” pointed out 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 co-relation between healthy work-life balance practises and employee motivation and dedication,” he added.

The survey also indicates that while 6 out of ten working adults (64.8 per cent) spend enough time on learning pursuits, 36.2 per cent 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 per cent 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’sprofessionals 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 per cent) do not spend a sufficient amount of time on sports and exercise, while 14.5 per cent 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 per cent), however, remains a low income. In terms of actual job satisfaction, results demonstrate that while 49.1 per cent of poll respondents enjoy their work on most days, 15.4 per cent categorically dislike their line of profession.

On a positive note, 89.3 per cent of the respondents believe that balancing between work and life is absolutely possible.

As for solutions to their current unbalanced lifestyle, 40.9 per cent of professionals said that working the same number of hours with a higher salary would resolve their employment issues, whereas 22.8 per cent would opt for a flexitime arrangement with similar hours, and10.4 per cent 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 per cent of respondents, it hinders professional and personal growth, and for 7.8 per cent, it deters performance on the job.

Other areas touched by this matter include relationships with family (8.7 per cent),physical health (7.3 per cent), and relationships with colleagues at work (5.6 per cent).

Data for the survey was collected online during the period from July 22 – August 13 with 8,287 respondents covering more than 12 countries in the Mena region.-TradeArabia News Service

Tags: Jobs | Middle East | work | career | wellness |

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