• | 12:30 pm

Employers in the Middle East, brace yourselves. Here comes the ‘invisible revolution’

A new study finds there is a profound shift in the labor market with the potential to create far-reaching tremors.

Employers in the Middle East, brace yourselves. Here comes the ‘invisible revolution’
[Source photo: Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

Contrary to claims that the peak of the Great Resignation has passed, recent data reveals that the number of resignations continues to rise. In 2022, the resignation rate was twice as high as in 2021.

More than just a workplace fad, the Great Resignation and Quiet Quitting brought many workplace issues brewing for years to the forefront. A recent Michael Page report unveiled significant shifts in employee attitudes kickstarting a new transformation dubbed as “Invisible Revolution.” 

As per the report, this ongoing transformation is not a temporary phenomenon but a profound shift with the potential to create far-reaching global tremors in the labor market. 

The study surveyed nearly 70,000 working adults – found that 90% of the global respondents and 95% of UAE-based respondents are open to exploring new opportunities in the job market.

In the UAE, where 625 professionals participated, 68% identified as active job seekers and implied they were seeking a new role or had plans to do so within the next six months. New hires are as likely to be open to new opportunities as their more tenured counterparts.

An additional 27% of respondents expressed a willingness to consider new opportunities but are currently waiting for the economy to improve or for the right opportunity to arise.

These figures indicate employers must prioritize retention this year by retaining their current workforce. 

Approximately 54% of workers in the UAE hold full-time office positions, while fully remote (11%) and hybrid working models (35%) are increasingly becoming the norm. 

Another factor affecting employee motivation to leave their current positions was hybrid working arrangements enabling individuals to explore new job opportunities and be approached by recruiters while working from home. 

Work-life balance emerged as the most crucial aspect of a job, with 49% of respondents ranking it as their top priority. Meanwhile, 32% of UAE respondents stated they would be willing to turn down a promotion if they believed it would negatively impact their well-being. Work-life balance is universally valued, with individuals with children (48%) and those without children (52%) emphasizing its importance. 

“Employee attitudes and motivations have undergone seismic shifts, reshaping the talent landscape across age groups, countries, and industries. There is no returning to the pre-pandemic status quo; the changes we see today are here to stay. Job loyalty is now the exception rather than the rule, as even content employees remain open to better opportunities,” Pierre-Emmanuel Dupil, Senior Managing Director – Middle East & Africa at Michael Page, said.

The report found that 80% of UAE employees reported satisfaction with their current workloads, and 51% expressed contentment with their salaries. Similarly, 50% of respondents feel generally satisfied with their overall roles. This indicates that employees can find overall contentment in their current positions while looking for future opportunities.

Flexibility, alongside salary and career advancement, has become a fundamental requirement.

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