What Is Contributing To Workplace Stress In MENA?


While much of the stress we experience comes from our personal lives, sometimes, a person’s stress can be caused by, or made worse, by work. In a poll entitled, ‘Stress in the MENA Workplace’, Bayt.com, a Middle East job site, investigates the various factors that contribute to stress in workplaces across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The poll has revealed that more than half of respondents in MENA agree that workplaces today are more stressful than they were a few years back (52 percent), and more than two thirds (69.1 percent) agree that they feel more pressure at work this year in comparison to last year.

The majority of respondents feel overwhelmed at work (83 percent), with 26.2 per cent feeling overwhelmed ‘all of the time’, and 74.8 percent claiming that jobs at their companies are more demanding than others. More than a third (35 percent) claim to spend too much time at work, while a quarter say that they spend just the right amount of time. Just 2.9 percent admit that they are spending too little time at work.

According to MENA respondents, stress does not affect work performance the most. For them, stress affects their family relations the most, with 27.9 percent of the respondents saying so. This is followed by their friendships (21 percent), work performance (19.9 percent) and health (16.4 percent). The three main stress factors for MENA respondents are their financial situation (40 percent), their work (19 percent) and their personal issues (18 percent).

While almost a quarter of respondents (24.7 percent) claim to experience an average amount of stress at work, 57.4 percent of them find the workplace stressful; with 17.6 percent admitting that their workplace is ‘extremely stressful’ and 19.7 percent claiming to experience ‘a little stress at work’. About 18 per cent of the respondents claim that their workplace is not stressful at all.

A low salary is the main stress factor at work for 28.2 percent of MENA respondents. Other stress factors include a lack of job security (12.3 percent), the workplace environment (9.7 percent) and not having a work-life balance (9.1 percent). In addition, 40 percent of the respondents claim that technologies, like email, laptops and phones, intended to make their lives easier, are actually contributing to work stress; 42.1 percent believe the opposite to be true.

When it comes to avoiding work stress altogether, a quarter of the respondents (25 percent) agree that engaging in regular team meetings and working for a company that offers flexible hours (23.9 percent) will reduce the stress component. In fact, more than three quarters claim that they could do a much better job if given more time (77.4 percent).

Over two thirds of the respondents (67.9 percent) admit that they can express their thoughts or complain about their workload, and the majority receive adequate acknowledgment and appreciation when their work is good (82.7 percent). Moreover, 92.2 percent have adequate control, or input, over their work duties, and almost three quarters (73.6%) agree that the management is sufficiently sensitive to, and helpful, in resolving needs, conflicts, or other problems that are stressful for employees.

To resolve their stress issues, 43.6 percent of respondents exercise more frequently, while 39.7 percent turn to socializing with friends after work.

“Work-related stress can be caused by poor work organisation, poor work design, unsatisfactory working conditions, low salaries, and lack of support from colleagues and managers. At Bayt.com, not only do we provide a wealth of jobs and recruitment solutions to connect professionals looking for jobs and companies looking to hire, but we also empower people with access to live data on workplace trends and challenges across the MENA region,” said Suhail Masri, Vice President of Employer Solutions at Bayt.com.

“Our mission is to empower people with the tools and information they need to lead their lifestyle of choice, so we are constantly creating new, innovative solutions to make it easier for employers and professionals to come together and share their ideas and concerns. Bayt.com Specialties, an online networking platform by Bayt.com, is one of these solutions,” Mr Masri continued.

Data for the Bayt.com ‘Stress in the MENA Workplace’ poll was collected online from June 26, 2016 to August 2, 2016. Results are based on a sample of 10,956 respondents. Countries that participated include the UAE, Bahrain, Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Tunisia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen.

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