Work-Life Balance, Myth Or Reality?

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  • The new study deep dives into the ever-raging debate of balancing personal and professional lives. The results may surprise you.

Bayt has recently conducted a survey to explore the effect of work-life balance on performance, morale and commitment among MENA professionals. Interestingly, over half the employees have considered leaving their current job to find better work-life balance at some point during the past 12 months.

Balanced employees tend to feel more motivated and less stressed out at work, which increases company productivity and reduces the number of conflicts among coworkers and management. Having a good balance between a personal life and career is the top priority for MENA professionals, 60% cite their family as the most important factor influencing their happiness, followed by their job (30%), hobbies and activities (7%) and friends and colleagues (3%).

Ola Haddad, Director of Human Resources said: “Our latest survey explores the benefits of finding a balance between work and home lives for MENA professionals. When employees feel a greater sense of control and ownership over their own lives, they tend to have better relationships with management. Through our research, we aim to empower professionals to take control over their lives for greater satisfaction and performance.”

Reducing stress to increase performance in all aspects of life – including one’s job – is the ultimate goal of work-life balance. MENA employers are playing an active role in the wellbeing of their employees – 84% of survey respondents said that their leadership respects their time and work-life balance and 91% say that they have time to exercise and take care of their health.

Modern employees demand greater control over their lives and a bigger say in the structure of their jobs – 92% of survey respondents claim that they have full control over their schedules. Influence on one’s own schedule is associated with better work-life balance, reducing conflict, cutting stress, increasing concentration and improved attention leading to better performance.

However, not all workplaces are the same – 52% of employees have considered leaving their current job because of a lack of work-life balance and 23% say that they have neglected personal and family responsibilities due to work.

Striking a balance between career and family has always been a challenge for MENA workers – current schedules are getting busier than ever before, which often causes work or personal lives to suffer. Half of survey respondents (50%) say that it is easy and 19% say that it is difficult to take time-off (paid or unpaid leave) in their current job.

Long workhours and overtime work have been found to be associated with lower work-life balance. In the MENA region, 47% of professionals work between 40 and 60 hours per week, 21% work more than 60 hours, 19% work between 20 and 40 hours and 8% work less than 20 hours each week. About 9 in 10 professionals (86%) often have to work overtime or put in extra hours from home.

Data for the ‘Work-Life Balance in the MENA Workplace’ survey was collected online from September 1 to October 3, 2022. Results are based on a sample of 4,012 respondents from the following countries: UAE, KSA, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Palestine, Syria, Egypt, Yemen, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Sudan among others.

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