Image Credit: GN Archives

When it comes to starting your job search, the old adage says there's no time like now. But for jobseekers in the Middle East and North Africa region, finding a job during the summer is more challenging than other times during the year, according to a survey by Bayt.com, the Middle East’s leading job portal. 

When asked about productivity levels, 29 per cent of MENA respondents admit that they decrease during the summer months. On the other hand, 42.5 per cent say that they experience an increase in productivity, while 28.6 per cent claim that productivity remains the same, regardless of the climate. 

The summer, does, however, influence job hunting. While half of the respondents claim that it is more challenging, more than a quarter (26.4 per cent) say that the difficulty of finding a job is the same year-round, while 23.7 per cent claim that it is much easier to find a job during the summer. 

According to the poll, 72.4 per cent of MENA professionals tend to take a vacation during the summer months. The majority of respondents take a vacation of two weeks or less (60.3 per cent), while around one in five either take a vacation of three weeks (18.2 per cent), or longer (21.5 per cent). 

“The summer season affects the work environment for both employers and employees throughout the world. In the Middle East specifically, the effect is evidenced by a perceived increase in the difficulty of finding a job, partly due to the fact that most recruiters and hiring managers tend to take a vacation during the summer. The season is also characterised by variations in the productivity levels amongst staff,” said Suhail Masri, Vice President, Employer Solutions, Bayt.com. 

Half of the employed respondents say that their work hours stay the same during the summer months, while almost a third (32.8 per cent) tend to work longer. Just 16.5 per cent of respondents say they leave work earlier during the summer.

When asked how busy the summer months are in the workplace, 35.2 per cent claim that they are busier, while 20.8 per cent say that they are slower, and 20.4 per cent claim that the level of work is the same throughout the year. Respondents say that traffic gets worse during summer (44.4 per cent); however, 40.5 per cent claim that it remains the same.

Four in 10 respondents claim that their workplace offers flexible working hours during the summer, while 23.1 per cent say that they are sometimes given the flexible option. Just over a third (34.5 per cent) claim that they do not have flexible working hours during the summer. 

Data for the 2016 Bayt.com ‘Summer in the MENA Workplace’ poll was collected online from May 29 2016 to June 26 2016. Results are based on a sample of 7,024 respondents. Countries that participated in the poll are the UAE, Bahrain, Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Tunisia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and others.