Thirty six percent of working professionals in the UAE and 26 percent in Saudi Arabia would rather take a pay cut in exchange for more holiday time.
An online study in the two countries by LinkedIn shows this number hits 38 percent and 22 percent among millennials and, for those aged between 54 and 74, it increases to 50 percent in the UAE and 27 percent in Saudi Arabia.
The study surveyed 1,005 respondents aged 18 and above who identified themselves as full-time permanent employees, full-time self-employed or freelancers.
According to the research, 45 percent of millennials in the UAE and 24 percent in Saudi Arabia do not use all their holiday time, while 65 percent of employees of all ages feel overworked.
Only 37 percent of UAE respondents took 26-30 days’ leave in 2018, and when on leave, just five percent did not actively engage with work emails or receive phone calls. Sixty-eight percent of millennials aged 18-38 have been contacted by colleagues while on holiday on more than one occasion.
While in Saudi Arabia, 27 percent of working professionals took 26-30 days of leave last year, and seven percent managed to steer clear of work during this time.
With an overwhelming number of respondents complaining about feeling overworked, the study has found that in the UAE, 38 percent of women and 30 percent of men did not use all their vacation days in 2018, citing “too much work to do” or “there was no one to fill in for me” as the reasons. The numbers in Saudi Arabia looked distinctly better, with 74 percent of men and 79 percent of women having used all their allocated vacation days.
Ali Matar, head of LinkedIn MENA and EMEA emerging markets, said: “This survey is an important indicator of the overall professional trends in the UAE and KSA markets, the two biggest and most attractive to talent in the region. I encourage companies to review the survey outcomes to be best positioned to attract and maintain talent.”
In the UAE, 27 percent of the surveyed contacted their colleagues who were on holiday at least once while 23 percent of Saudi holidaymakers did not disconnect from work at all.
Forty-three percent of the surveyed in the UAE and 46 percent in Saudi Arabia find vacation entitlement extremely important when looking for a new job. The research has also revealed that in the UAE, 80 percent of men and 76 percent of women are comfortable sharing their holiday plans with their co-workers. Comparatively, in Saudi Arabia, 77 percent of men and 75 percent of women feel at ease discussing the topic at work.