Culture of privacy, stress permeate UAE workplaces

UAE workplacesUAE employees need more access to collaborative workspaces, breakout areas and canteens l Image Credit: Courtesy of Steelcase

The UAE stands out with a very strong culture of privacy at work, according to The Privacy Crisis, a research by office furniture firm Steelcase. The report stated that 52 per cent of employees in the UAE work in a shared private office compared to the global average of 37 per cent.

“While open plan has emerged as the trendiest configuration in Europe and North America, the UAE business community still attaches great importance in maintaining a high level of privacy, commonly with individual private offices for managers and shared private offices for executives,” according to the report.

Furthermore, the study pointed out that UAE employees perceive a lack of wellbeing awareness from their employers. It said that access to collaborative workspaces, breakout areas, canteens and meeting rooms remains very limited, as only 37 per cent of employees have recreational areas to relax and informally interact with their colleagues compared to the global average of 45 per cent.

The study also found that although UAE employees are quite satisfied with their working conditions and have a positive attitude towards their workplace, only 47 per cent of employees think that the company is taking an interest in their wellbeing, health and safety compared to a global average of 54 per cent. Stressful work environments also emerged as a major problem among UAE employees.

“While the majority [80 per cent] endorse their company’s strategy and like their work, only 57 per cent [com pared to the global average of 64 per cent] consider the company is an appropriate place for them to work and fits within their lifestyle,” the report said.

“Collaboration is essential to innovation and employees’ need to be with their colleagues is as compelling as their need for privacy,” said Chris Congdon, Director of Research Communications at Steelcase. “The key is to achieve a balance.”

Conducted in collaboration with research firm Ip-sos, the survey interviewed more than 10,000 employees in 17 countries, including 565 employees in the UAE under the age of 45 years.

Source: Property WeeklyPW


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