Workers across the Gulf are experiencing a "mid-life crisis" early in their careers, a new study shows.
Aon Hewitt questioned 4,600 nationals and expatriates across the GCC, including about 1,800 from the UAE, to find out what motivates employees as part of a bid to help organisations and governments plan for the future.
When it homed in specifically on Gulf nationals, the study found the younger generation - and those aged from 25 to 34 in particular - were the least engaged of all.
That could be because of reduced support and increased responsibility, the report's authors argue. But other experts suggest additional forces are at work.
"The needs, interests and aspirations of today's younger workforce are quite different, and so the strategies and tactics employed to engage these younger workers in their jobs needs to be different," said Michael Burchell, a partner and director of Great Place to Work Institute UAE.
Younger workers tend to have different priorities, experts say, and their deep reliance on and familiarity with technology means they expect issues to be resolved quickly.
"They look for deep connections to their work, to their organisation and to their managers," Mr Burchell said.
"If this is absent, they tend to disconnect fairly quickly. So this presents an important challenge to leaders in organisations: how to consistently and carefully connect young people with their work and develop high-trust relationships with them - before they become disengaged."
Across the Gulf, those working in the private sector reported they were more motivated than those in the public sector.
"This tendency is based on the fact that private employers have different expectations, rewards and structures in place, and accountability looks different than in the public sector," Mr Burchell said.