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Thu 14 Feb 2013 02:24 PM

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UAE workers want shorter commute, more sleep

Study shows one-third of workers in Gulf state are sacrificing sleep for work

UAE workers want shorter commute, more sleep

More than one-third of United Arab Emirates workers are sacrificing sleep to fit in longer working hours, a survey revealed.

The global study of 24,000 people also found nearly two-in-five workers in the UAE wish they had a shorter commute and more than a quarter want flexible working locations so they can spend more time with their families.

Office solutions firm Regus found greater flexibility improved productivity by 73 percent and staff retention by 85 percent.

However, only 40 percent of workplaces encouraged flexible working hours and only 58 percent of companies rewarded management for encouraging flexibility.

“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,” Regus MEA VP Joanne Bushell said.

“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.”

Bushell said lack of sleep was detrimental to worker health and happiness, with long working hours closely linked to heart disease.

“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 UAE firms do not recognise or reward managers for encouraging the creation of a flexible workforce,” she said.

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