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Majority of professionals in the Middle East and North Africa feel positive about the prospects of 2016

BEIRUT | iloubnan.info - December 24, 2015, 12h15

Professionals in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) are looking forward to the New Year, according to the Bayt.com ‘Holidays in the MENA Workplace Poll’. The vast majority of respondents (79.6%) will be making career New Year’s resolutions. In fact, 30.4% of them have already resolved to work harder next year.

Feelings about 2016 are very positive: 38.7% describe their feelings as “very positive” and 33.2% as “excited”, compared to only 19% describing their feelings as “anxious” and 9.2% as “neutral”. 57.1% say that the new calendar year affects their levels of excitement towards work, while only 31% are “not affected at all”. An impressive 93% of professionals believe in “reinventing oneself, career and/or life” and  83.1% say they would like their career and life to be “very different” next year.

More than half of MENA companies (52.4%) hold events to celebrate public holidays at least once a year, according to employed poll respondents, with 23.6% of companies hosting several events throughout the year. When asked about their working environment during holiday seasons, the majority of poll respondents (66.3%) felt that the office environment is “more fun” during the holidays, with a third believing it is “a lot more fun”. A third of respondents also felt that the office environment “does not change” during the holidays.

More than half of employed MENA respondents feel that their productivity is not affected by the weather (57.5%); however, 42.5% are affected with 24.7% stating that they “work best in spring/summer”, while 17.8 say that they “work best in fall/winter”. 

The holiday season also affects productivity for 38.2% of employed respondents, but with only 20.8% saying that it is “affected to a large extent”. A third deny that productivity is affected at all.  In fact, more than a third of poll respondents (34.1%) “almost always” work on a public holiday, while 44.7% “work occasionally”. Only 21.2% said that they do not work during public holidays at all.

When it comes to favourite holiday activities for employees around the MENA region, travel tops the list for 30.1% of those surveyed. 22.2% claim to travel during “almost every holiday”, while 30.3% travel once or twice a year. Almost a third admit that they “rarely” travel for the holidays, while 18% claim to “never travel” at all.  Other favorite holiday activities are “spending time with family” (21.3%); “going out with friends” (15.2%); and “partaking in outdoor activities” (10.9%).

In terms of New Year’s resolutions, the majority of poll respondents (30.4%) have resolved to work harder in the New Year. 17.8% have decided to change their job or career, while 17.2% would prefer to travel more. Other resolutions included taking a course (8.1%), getting organized (6%) and joining a gym or losing weight (5.4%). The majority of respondents also claim to have stuck to last year’s resolutions (79.8%); however, almost half of these (48.9%) admit to “only sticking to their resolutions to some extent”. 

“The fact that employees are resolving to improve their working habits and work harder in the New Year is a boon for workplaces throughout the MENA region,” said Suhail Masri, VP of Sales, Bayt.com. “At Bayt.com, it is our mission to provide professionals with the tools and knowledge to discover the regional trends and use these to make better decisions when it comes to hiring and retaining top talent. We encourage professionals in the Middle East keen on reinventing themselves and their careers in 2016 to use the holiday season to learn new skills that would empower them to do so. They can join career discussions already taking place on Bayt.com Specialties, where millions of professionals are engaging in career conversations. They can also take courses and tests designed with their upward mobility in mind. Bayt.com wishes everyone a blessed holiday season and a happy New Year!”

Data for the Bayt.com “Holidays in the MENA Workplace” poll was collected online from 20 November-18 December 2015, with 7,708 respondents from the UAE, KSA, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, Lebanon, Jordan, Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Iraq, Libya, and Yemen.

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