x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Working hard, or hardly working?

More than two-thirds of professionals across the Gulf will work throughout the coming holidays despite the fact that almost half do not expect to get much done.

As many offices in the West shut down for the festive season, the majority in the Gulf will slog on - even if they do not get much done.

A survey by Regus has revealed that 70 per cent of Gulf professionals will work over the holidays.

However, almost half - 46 per cent - believe that those working will not be productive.

And two-fifths of those questioned think employees will use the time to catch up on unfinished tasks.

"As the developed world faces economic difficulties and rapidly developing countries deal with the challenge of sustainable growth, businesses are under enormous pressure to keep a full head of steam, so it is not surprising that workers use this time to catch up on unfinished work," said Mark Dixon, the chief executive of Regus.

Some employees in the Gulf may decide to take time off, or continue to work but become less productive, because the people they deal with overseas are on holiday.

"Generally speaking, every government (in the West) shuts down. Christmas isn't celebrated here but I would be willing to bet that there are a lot of people who are going to take two weeks off because it's a time that around the world not much gets done," said Alma Kadragic, the academic programme developer for Abu Dhabi for the University of Wollongong in Dubai.

Ms Kadragic is off this festive season, but used to work Christmas Day regularly when she was a producer for ABC in the US.

People can be productive at any time through a combination of individual effort, good management and support, said Linzi J Kemp, an assistant professor at the American University of Sharjah's School of Business and Management.

However, the productivity of expatriates who celebrate the holiday but choose to work may suffer because they view their priorities differently during the festive season.

"Our personal lives with family and friends looms large, which is why many people take a holiday, to concentrate on the personal," said Ms Kemp.