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35pc workers sacrifice sleep for commitments

Dubai, February 13, 2013

Over a third of Middle Eastern workers (35 per cent) say they have to sacrifice sleep to fit in personal and work commitments, either by waking up too early or by burning the midnight oil, according to a global report by Regus.

Although flexible working is highlighted as a way to reduce commuting, create more hours in the day for sleep or family life and to improve productivity and staff retention, only 58 per cent of firms are rewarding management for encouraging the creation of a flexible workforce.

Workers also highlight that a shorter commute (38 per cent) and greater flexibility of location (26 per cent) would give them more time spend with their families as well as to catch some extra shut-eye, but businesses can also benefit from introducing greater flexibility which is reported to improve productivity (73 per cent) and help retain staff (85 per cent).

“Lack of sleep is clearly detrimental to worker health and happiness with long working hours closely linked to heart disease,” said Joanne Bushell, vice president for Middle East and Africa. “Respondents highlight that a shorter commute and more flexibility over work location would help them spend more time with their families, finally spelling an end to sleepless nights filled with catching up on work or personal tasks that couldn’t be squeezed into the day.”

Globally 35 per cent of workers are sleeping less than they wish to fit all their commitments and in the Middle East 35 per cent of workers are sacrificing sleep to fit in work and personal commitments, while a fifth (25 per cent) feel they have to overcompensate time taken off for personal matters.

Workers highlight a shorter commute (38 per cent) and location flexibility (26 per cent) as ways of helping them spend more time with their families. But businesses can benefit too, as flexible work is thought to improve productivity (73 per cent) and help staff retention (85 per cent).

Yet currently management is being rewarded for encouraging a flexible work environment only in half (58 per cent) of firms.

“This survey shows that allowing employees to work closer to home in professional and fully efficient environments can have an important impact on family life and provide workers with a few more minutes’ kip each morning,” Bushell said.

“But the benefits are not just for workers, and firms can also improve productivity and retention by introducing flexible working. Yet, in spite of the win-win benefits that flexible working can bring on both employee and company side, there is evidently still plenty of grounds for improvement as half of Middle Eastern firms do not recognise or reward managers for encouraging the creation of a flexible workforce.”

Regus, one of the world’s largest providers of flexible workplaces, conducted the survey based on interviews with more than 24,000 business-people from over 90 countries. – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: UAE | Middle East | Dubai | Sleep | Regus |

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