By Sarah Townsend
Survey respondents also said better relationships with colleagues would improve productivity
The boundaries between work and personal life are blurring faster than ever, with more than a third of respondents to a Middle East survey admitting they talk to friends while at work, call their family or browse the internet for non-work purposes.
The survey by recruitment consultancy Michael Page found that 33 percent of more than 600 respondents chat with friends, 35 percent call their family, 35 percent browse the web for personal information and 30 percent check non-work related social media during office hours.
What is more, almost all (93 percent) of survey respondents said that a better relationship with colleagues could improve their productivity at work, while a similarly high proportion (81 percent) said strong working relationships were “very important”.
That said, only 25 percent of respondents said they habitually meet their colleagues outside work hours, and only 13 percent said they would host their manager at home.
The survey suggests that while personal relationships and past-times are important to enrichen the working day, Middle East employees still value professional boundaries.
Leith Ramsay, managing director of Michael Page Middle East, said: “Analysing the data, most employers already acknowledge the challenges and opportunities social media present in maintaining an efficient work environment.
“People now run their lives from their smartphones which can lead to distractions in achieving daily objectives.
“A good relationship with your manager and colleagues definitely improves productivity at work. Then again, a relationship that is too close can break boundaries and negatively impact output.”
He added: “Overall, employees and employers need to constantly work at being flexible as they seek to create an enjoyable work environment which remains productive and efficeient.”