Employees in UAE report high levels of happiness at work

Author: Sophie-Marie Odum | Date: 12 Oct 2016

The country’s latest initiatives and workplace wellness schemes are proving a success, but almost half said workloads were the main source of stress

Three fifths of employees (62 per cent) in the UAE are “happy the majority of the time at work”, with just 12 per cent reporting unhappiness, according to a new survey.
 
Just over a quarter (27 per cent) said they felt “indifferent” in the survey by Middle East business intelligence provider Meed, which surveyed 72 firms across the country.
 
Managing workload was the biggest cause of stress in the workplace for 49 per cent of respondents. Other causes included juggling work and personal life (24 per cent), lack of job security (14 per cent) and issues with colleagues (6 per cent).
 
In the same report, 65 per cent of business managers in the GCC said their company’s corporate wellness programmes had improved the health of their workforce. Nearly half (48 per cent) said employee engagement had improved, 35 per cent reported reduced business costs and 24 per cent said workplace accidents had reduced.
 
Dr Michael Bitzer, CEO at national health insurance company Daman, said: “We are delighted with the feedback that a majority of the businesses utilising corporate health and wellness programmes have found them to be effective in improving the health of their employees.”
 
The report reflects the country’s goals to create a happier and more positive nation. People Management Middle East reported that the Emirates announced its first Minister of State for Happiness in February. The following month, Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, approved a 100-day national programme for happiness and positivity.
 
The programme focuses on government policies and community development, including benchmarks to measure happiness.
 
Bitzer added: “The workplace is where most people spend at least a third of their day. From the perspective of the general wellbeing of an individual, it then becomes imperative that the environment that they spend so much time in supports wellness. Employers must take necessary steps to ensure that work environments remain inspiring and pleasant, as that motivates staff and keeps them positive. Positivity, as we all know, influences productivity.”