90% of Mena employees feel optimistic about 2022, survey finds

More than half picked finding a new job as their top career-related resolution for next year, according to Bayt.com

About 21 per cent of Mena working professionals said receiving a promotion or a salary increase was their top career resolution for 2022, according to Bayt.com. Photo: Getty
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Ninety per cent of working professionals polled in a survey in the Middle East and North Africa feel optimistic about 2022 as job prospects and optimism in the labour market improve on the back of economic growth, despite pandemic-induced headwinds, according to a new survey.

About 85 per cent of respondents believe the new year will bring many changes in their professional and personal lives, revealed a survey by jobs portal Bayt.com. It polled 3,395 respondents in countries like the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Bahrain, among others, from November 11 to December 15, 2021.

Fifty-six per cent of respondents said finding a new job was their top career-related resolution for 2022. Twenty-one per cent said receiving a promotion or a salary increase was their top resolution, while 21 per cent picked learning new skills at work and 2 per cent cited improving relationships with colleagues and managers.

“Our new survey clearly shows that most Mena professionals are not only up for a challenge next year, but value it as a way to enrich their professional and personal lives,” Ola Haddad, director of human resources at Bayt.com, said.

“In fact, getting a new job is among professionals’ top New Year’s resolutions and many professionals will begin 2022 with great aspirations.”

About 43 per cent of businesses in the UAE plan to increase salaries in 2022 by an average of 3 per cent, according to a report by recruitment agency Cooper Fitch this month.

The Cooper Fitch UAE Salary Guide 2022, which polled more than 600 companies in the UAE, found that 35 per cent of businesses plan to increase salaries from zero per cent to 5 per cent, while 4 per cent of companies will offer employees a raise between 6 per cent and 9 per cent, and 5 per cent will boost wages by 10 per cent or more.

About 37 per cent of organisations said they did not plan to make any changes to salaries next year, the Cooper Fitch research found.

A separate report by Mercer last month found that employers in the UAE will go on a hiring spree in 2022 and raise salaries by an average 3.6 per cent as demand for jobs picks up amid the UAE’s post-coronavirus economic recovery.

Attracting and retaining employees will also require an increased focus on flexible working policies such as hybrid or remote working, Mercer said in its 2021 Total Remuneration Survey.

While looking for new jobs in 2022, 86 per cent of respondents will spend more time looking for remote jobs, 76 per cent will use online job sites, 14 per cent picked company websites, 6 per cent chose social media, while 2 per cent will opt for online job fairs, the Bayt.com survey revealed.

Eighty per cent of those surveyed said they were satisfied with their professional and personal growth during the past year.

One way to achieve professional goals at work is through an appraisal, according to the Bayt.com research. About 67 per cent of Mena professionals said they have year-end appraisals at their company while 20 per cent do not. Additionally, 87 per cent of professionals said that year-end appraisals at work are helpful.

About 65 per cent of working professionals in the Mena region identified saving money as the most popular personal resolution, 21 per cent picked exercising and following a healthy diet, 9 per cent chose spending more time with friends and family, while 6 per cent cited taking more vacations, the survey found.

Updated: December 27, 2021, 10:05 AM