While people around the world wait for the summer season in anticipation of warmer temperatures and family vacations, the majority of respondents in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region see winter as the most popular season. In fact, when asked about their favorite season of the year, only 16.7% of respondents to the ‘Summer in the MENA Workplace’ poll, conducted by Bayt.com, the Middle East’s leading job site, answered summer, while the majority (42.6%) said winter was definitely their season of choice. The poll shows that half of the respondents agree that finding a job during the summer months is more challenging than other times during the year.
When asked about their productivity levels, 29% of MENA respondents admit that they decrease during the summer months. On the other hand, 42.5% say that they experience an increase in productivity, while 28.6% claim that productivity remains the same, regardless of the climate. The summer, does, however, influence job hunting. While half of the respondents claim that it is more challenging, more than a quarter (26.4%) say that the difficulty of finding a job is the same year-round, while 23.7% claim that it is much easier to find a job during the summer.
Half of the employed respondents say that their work hours stay the same during the summer months, while almost a third (32.8%) tend to work longer. Just 16.5% of respondents say they leave work earlier during the summer. When asked how busy the summer months are in the workplace, 35.2% claim that they are busier, while 20.8% say that they are slower, and 20.4% claim that the level of work is the same throughout the year. Respondents say that traffic gets worse during summer (44.4%); however, 40.5% claim that it remains the same.
Four in 10 respondents claim that their workplace offers flexible working hours during the summer, while 23.1% say that they are sometimes given the flexible option. Just over a third (34.5%) claim that they do not have flexible working hours during the summer.
According to the poll, 72.4% of MENA professionals tend to take a vacation during the summer months. The majority of respondents take a vacation of two weeks or less (60.3%), while around one in five either take a vacation of three weeks (18.2%), or longer (21.5%). Visiting friends and family (32.4%), and the beach (28.4%), are the two most popular holiday destinations. They are followed by a trip to the mountains (10.7%), shopping (7.8%), city vacations (7.4%) and (2.9%) spa vacations.
More than half of MENA respondents (55.9%) spend more time outdoors during the summer, while 44.1% prefer to stay indoors. Winter may be the most popular month for respondents in the MENA; however, a third of them still prefer spring (30.4%), while just 16.7% enjoy summer. Autumn is the least popular season (10.4%).
“The summer season affects the work environment for both employers and employees throughout the world. In the Middle East specifically, the effect is evidenced by a perceived increase in the difficulty of finding a job, partly due to the fact that most recruiters and hiring managers tend to take a vacation during the summer. The season is also characterized by variations in the productivity levels amongst staff. At Bayt.com we strive to offer accurate insights that can prepare both job seekers and employers for the summer season,” said Suhail Masri, Vice President, Employer Solutions, Bayt.com. “While the perception may be that job hunting is more challenging during the summer, job seekers can always find and apply to thousands of jobs on Bayt.com. Job seekers should use this time to spruce up their CVs, and take advantage of online professional platforms, such as Bayt.com Specialities, to showcase their skills and know more about the companies they’re targeting. Employers should also take this time to seek out top talent and reinforce their brand.”
Data for the 2016 Bayt.com ‘Summer in the MENA Workplace’ poll was collected online from May 29 2016 to June 26 2016. Results are based on a sample of 7,024 respondents. Countries that participated in the poll are the UAE, Bahrain, Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Tunisia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and others.