UAE ranks high in employees well-being, says new survey

In addition to holistic health, the study covers social, physical, spiritual and mental health aspects of the employees


Waheed Abbas

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Published: Sun 5 Nov 2023, 9:36 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Nov 2023, 4:25 PM

The UAE has been ranked among the top countries for employee well-being, higher than the global average and many of the developed countries, according to a survey released by a global consultancy.

Conducted by McKinsey Health Institute across 30 countries covering 30,000 participants, the UAE scored 67 per cent in the poll, ahead of the UK (43 per cent), Switzerland (62 per cent), Canada (47 per cent), the US (62 per cent), Singapore (52 per cent), Italy (51 per cent), Germany (51 per cent), Saudi Arabia (51 per cent), France (45 per cent) and others. This was also higher than the global average of 57 per cent.

In addition to holistic health, the study covers social, physical, spiritual and mental health aspects of the employees.

The UAE scored between 72 and 74 per cent in the four above-mentioned categories, higher than the global average in all the categories.

In 2016, the UAE launched the National Programme for Happiness and Wellbeing which covered happiness and wellbeing in the workplace within the private sector.

A Gallup survey has revealed that the Programme has been effective as a growing number of employees feel that their company cares about their overall well-being. In 2022, nearly half of UAE employees – 49 per cent – strongly agree that their company cares about their overall well-being – an 18-percentage-point increase compared with 2019.

Globally, as per a McKinsey Health Institute poll, Turkey scored the highest at 78 per cent, followed by India (76%), and China (75%). While Japan scored the lowest at 25 per cent.

“We found that more than half of employees across 30 countries reported positive overall holistic health — but there are substantial variations between countries... Among respondents, the largest proportion of positive scores was for physical health at 70 per cent, and approximately two-thirds of global employees reported positive scores on mental and social health. The lowest proportion of positive scores were on spiritual health, at 58 per cent,” McKinsey Health Institute said.


The poll also covered burnout symptoms, exhaustion (severe loss of energy that results in mental and physical tiredness), mental distance (strong aversion or reliance on work), cognitive impairment (attention and concentration deficits, memory problems, and poor mental performance) and emotional impairment (intense emotional reactions and feelings of being overwhelmed by emotions) of employees in the UAE and other countries.

The survey found that 26 per cent of UAE employees reported burnout symptoms, which is relatively on the higher side when compared to other developed countries such as the US, Canada, Sweden, Netherlands, Turkiye, South Korea, Italy, Germany France etc.

Employees in India had the highest burnout symptoms rate at 59 per cent followed by Saudi Arabia at 36 per cent and Egypt and Chile at 33 per cent.

McKinsey Health Institute survey found that 22 per cent of employees are experiencing burnout symptoms at work globally across 30 countries, although there are substantial variances between countries.

Cameroon respondents reported the lowest rates of burnout symptoms at 9 per cent, and Indian respondents reported the highest burnout symptoms at 59 per cent. When exploring demographic differences on burnout, it found younger workers aged 18 to 24, employees from smaller companies, and all workers who were non-managers report higher burnout symptoms.


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