Tired of long working hours in the office? Fed up of getting stuck in traffic for hours to reach your workplace?
You are not different than 75 per cent of professionals in the region.
A new poll by Bayt.com, the Middle East’s job site, reveals that three quarters of professionals in the region prefer to work for ‘large or multinational’ companies for being better equipped to fulfil their employees’ desires for work arrangements.
Nine in ten (90.5 per cent) respondents agree that they mostly want to have full-time work, according to Bayt.com, but even with full time employment, job seekers are looking for flexibility.
In fact, research by AMEinfo shows that more companies in the west are moving to offering flexible working hours out of their belief that such arrangements increase productivity.
A very important reason behind this is the emergence of technology which facilitates working from distance and achieving a great number of tasks remotely.
But are these arrangements taking place in this part of the world?
The UAE is becoming more flexible
Dubai may have become more aware of the benefits of flexible working hours compared to other countries in the region.
According to GCC Exchange, a money transfer, foreign exchange and payment solution brand, there has been a push in the UAE to improve standards in this area, as seen by the rise of organizations such as Great Place to Work, a global research, training and consultancy firm that recognizes the best workplaces in more than 50 countries.
“There is a growing understanding among business leaders in the UAE that workplace culture has become a significant competitive advantage for companies to attract and retain top talent,” says Maha Zaatari, Managing Director, the UAE. “Leading organizations are continuously monitoring their employees’ workplace experience and looking for innovative ways to make incremental improvements.”
No flexibility in the GCC
A very big drawback with GCC countries is the lack of policies to encourage work arrangements with flexible hours, such as part-time or temporary work, unlike OECD countries.
According to a study by Strategy&, flexible work arrangements offer significant benefits, but are largely ignored in the GCC by laws and regulations, which mostly focus on full-time arrangements and therefore are impractical for flexible work.
“GCC labour regulations generally do not account for the possibility that employers or employees may want to work for short-term or part-time periods,” it said.
The study explains that these arrangements are no prohibited. However, many processes and fees associated with full-time employment are also required of part-time or temporary arrangements.
While flexible hours are becoming trendier globally, what kinds of businesses allow such arrangements?
Want better work arrangements? choose these professions!
Obviously, web designers and market research analysts have no problem arranging for flexible jobs.
According to Forbes, the IT industry typically grants the ability to work from home to its seasoned workers.
Forbes quotes Katie Bardaro, Payscale’s lead economist, as saying that “many of the tasks completed by these jobs can be done via technology (phone, computer, e-mail, web chats, etc.) and require a sharp focus and sometimes odd hours, all three of which sum up to a perfect job for telecommuting.”
The Telegraph says that Microsoft, for instance, is a winner in the Healthiest Employees Category as it operates an “Anywhere Working” initiative that allows employees to choose where, when and how they work.
Forbes say that lawyers, management consultant, regional sales managers and aerospace engineers also have highly flexible working hours.
Most young people in the GCC prefer traditional public sector jobs over private sector employment, in search for job security and high pay, according to a recent study conducted by Strategy& with LinkedIn.
These jobs are not flexible but rather have fixed working hours.
Other traditional jobs such as farming, tailoring, construction and manufacturing are still existent and considered some of the oldest professions where employees have to be present to achieve their work.