Coronavirus: Sharjah employees worked from home even when they were sick, survey shows

More than six out of 10 surveyed employees said they did not take time off

A Sharjah survey found 43 per cent of government employees suffered from eye pain after sitting in front of a screen for long hours. Getty  
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Government workers in Sharjah did not take any sick leave over the past few months of working from home to keep productivity levels high, a new survey showed.

Research conducted by the Sharjah Health Promotion Department evaluated the effect of stay-home measures during months of restrictions due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Of the 12,000 employees surveyed, 65 per cent said they continued to work on days they felt ill.

Another 43 per cent said they suffered from eye pain after sitting in front of a screen for long hours.

Eighty-seven per cent said they were given enough time to complete tasks and there was no additional work pressure.

Nine out of ten respondents said they were satisfied with their productivity when they worked from home.

Iman Saif, director of the department at the Supreme Council for Family Affairs in Sharjah, said the survey gave an indication of the effect remote working had on government employees' health and wellbeing.

“This will help us give better solutions to the challenges the employees face due to this new work system,” he said.

Workers answered questions on the department's website and social media platforms.

Seventy-six per cent of the respondents said they understood the importance of keeping physically fit and 45 per cent said they exercised regularly.

Seventy-five per cent said they understood the value of nutrition but just 30 per cent said they read the labels on food.

The survey was part of the Wazen programme that includes a database of employees in 60 government departments.

The programme will help develop initiatives to improve the health of employees.