Thursday 07, December 2017 by Jessica Combes

‘Always on’ mentality increasing employee stress levels in the UAE


Workplace burnout is an issue for 64 per cent of businesses in the UAE, according to new research by recruitment agency, Robert Half UAE .

Workplace stress is highest among medium-sized businesses, at 74 per cent, and lowest among small businesses, at 57 per cent. Robert Half research into happiness in the workplace has shown that employee stress can be a drain on the organisation as well as the individual. Those that are burned out typically suffer from higher rates of absenteeism.

“Candidates are interested in purposeful careers and are looking for opportunities where they can achieve both a good work-life balance and career development. Businesses can successfully attract top performing talent in today’s market—irrespective of the skills shortage—if they adapt their approach,” said Gareth El Mettouri, Associate Director at Robert Half UAE.

According to sociologist and senior fellow, greater good Science Centre at the University of California, Berkeley, Dr. Christine Carter, managers need to realise that if they want their direct reports to fulfil their potential, it will not be possible if they are stressed. And the way to reverse a stress response is to help induce positive emotions.

Businesses say that they are currently implementing the promotion of a team-based environment (56 per cent), encouraging time off (42 per cent) and hiring more staff (42 per cent) to help alleviate pressure. 

When asked which areas have been improved to prevent employee burnout answers from from UAE managers included: promoting a team-based environment (56 per cent), encouraging employees to take time off (42 per cent), hiring permanent staff to alleviate pressure (42 per cent), encouraging team-building activities/celebratory events (35 per cent), reviewing / restructuring of job functions and tasks (28 per cent), and offering of flexible working / telecommuting options (11 per cent).

“Talent management is expected to be one of the three main areas of focus for businesses up until 2020. As businesses get underway with their workforce planning for next year and the year’s following, they should consider not only the skills and expertise they need, but also ensure their workforce remains productive and engaged at work and avoid burnout,” said El Mettouri.


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