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Low job satisfaction cited as main reason for absenteeism by employees

Survey on absenteeism in Middle East

Gulf News

Dubai: Rewarding regular and punctual employees could well be an effective way to raise productivity and curb employee absenteeism, if the latest survey on absenteeism in the Middle East is anything to go by.

According to the survey, ‘Absenteeism in the Middle East Workplace’, conducted by, low job satisfaction and lack of responsibility are the main reasons for employees not attending work. The solution was given by the employees themselves, 51 per cent of whom said that regular attendance and punctuality should be rewarded. The survey included more than 9,000 employees across 12 countries in the Middle East.

Businesses suffer due to employee absenteeism which is not only a factor in reduced productivity but also in possible loss of business or dissatisfied customers.

An unplanned day off was as frequent as one a month for almost 12 per cent of the respondents whereas 63 per cent said they “rarely” resorted to unplanned off days. More than half of the respondents also believed that senior employees took more unplanned leave compared to others and a high percentage, 58, said the management got preferential treatment.

“Employers state that there are significant knock-on effects to absenteeism, and yet our survey has shown that there are a considerable number of companies that do not follow through on consequences for employees consistently taking unplanned leaves. This suggests that stronger measures should be considered, to ensure overall profitability and smoother operational functions,” said Suhail Masri, vice-president of Sales,

A ‘lack of responsibility’ and ‘low job satisfaction’ ranked equally as more than one-fifth people said that these were the main reasons for absenteeism. The other reasons that cited were demotivation, bad employee/manager relations, home and family responsibilities, and medical and health conditions.

Most of the respondents said that recognising and rewarding regular and punctual attendance was the best way to lower rates of absenteeism.