Around 30% of Middle East professionals responding to a survey said they are “extremely” or “very likely” to look for a new job within the next year, as against the global survey average of 19%, said professional services firm PwC in a new report.
The PwC Middle East Workforce Hopes and Fears Survey 2022, which gathered information from 1,565 workers across the region, found that Middle East employees prioritise upskilling opportunities, transparency, flexibility and wellbeing at work.
Key themes emerging from the report included that younger people have a stronger preference for full-time remote and hybrid working arrangements, and that employees in the region are confident asking for pay increases or promotion.
Randa Bahsoun, Partner, Government & Public Sector and New world. New skills. Leader, PwC Middle East said: “In the age of the ‘great resignation’, it is imperative for employers to keep pace with the demands and wishes of talent or they will look elsewhere to get what they desire from their workplace. With 30% of respondents in the Middle East very likely to look for a new job within the next year (vs 19% globally), factors such as flexible working, trust and transparency, wellbeing and promoting a culture of openness are increasingly integral to the war for talent.”
Coming out of the pandemic, 63% of respondents said they can perform their job remotely. Yet almost three out of 10 (28%), more than double the global average, said they are working full-time-in-person, highlighting the complexity of adjusting work models to suit all employees.
The potential mismatch between employees’ and employers’ expectations is evident in the Middle East, where 31% of employees, compared with 18% globally, said their companies want them to work full-time in person. Only 23% stated that this was their preferred method of working - 77% would prefer at least some hybrid working flexibility.
Some 43% of Gen Z respondents in the Middle East preferred a remote or mostly remote full-time arrangement, with only 15% opting for full-time in the office or other workplace.
Proportionately more Middle East respondents than the survey average (62% vs 50% globally) believe that their employers are more transparent about workplace health and safety, diversity and inclusion, and economic and environmental impacts. An even higher proportion of regional respondents (71% vs 58% globally) stressed the importance of transparency by employers on these issues.
When it comes to asking for a raise, Middle East respondents (54% vs 35% globally) are more likely to do so than their international counterparts, while 54% were “extremely or very likely” to ask for a promotion, almost double the global average. Across the region, millennials were the most likely age group to do both – or leave to seek a new employer.
Bahsoun said: “It is vital for employers across the region to identify the key drivers of employee turnover and retention. Increasingly this is a question not just of financial reward alone but also personal fulfilment, and how the wider values, governance and impacts of the organisation affect the culture and opportunities in the workplace.
“Employers need to address these hopes and fears head-on, both by doubling-down on the upskilling agenda and making meaningful and lasting change to attract the top talent and close the skills gap. In a time of great recent volatility, both the way of work and the skills needed have transformed, and employers must adapt to ensure that their workforce is fit for the future.” – TradeArabia News Service