CAIRO: In a recent job seeker poll, 88 percent of those surveyed said that a country s cultural norms have a bearing on a working professional s lifestyle and productivity.
The survey, carried out by Bayt.com, the Middle East s number one job site, asked respondents to rate how strongly they believed countries cultural norms affected lifestyle and productivity.
Surprisingly, 6.3 percent of those sampled held the belief that a country s culture had no bearing on lifestyle nor productivity.
Amer Zureikat, regional manager for Bayt.com, sheds light on the survey’s results, saying that professionals moving to new countries, for the purpose of employment, expect cultural norms to influence their lives.
Zureikat speculated that the diversity of responses seen in the survey reflect the differing mindsets of people working overseas or considering an opportunity abroad.
Given that 20 percent of those polled made the distinction between impact on lifestyle and impact of productivity may provide evidence of more effective strategies employed by workers facing a cultural disparity from what they are used to.
Zureikat said that if employers are better able to understand these strategies and coping mechanisms they can increase the productivity of their workforce, as well as benefiting other expatriate employees.
As an example, more thorough cultural orientation programs might offer a solution for employers, as only 29 percent of respondents would consider working in a dissimilar culture if, and only if, they could manage to better learn about their new environment.
In countries around the Middle East, including Egypt, it easy to understand how culture can impact on foreign workers lifestyle and productivity. With the end of Ramadan approaching shops and businesses will once again return to normal working hours and opening times.
Magdy Sobhy, an economics expert for the Al-Ahram Center for Strategic Studies, argues that although a fall in productivity is seen during the month of Ramadan it is in fact a mixed blessing, with increased activity in the market negating any fall in work rate.
The questionnaire was carried out online and also aimed to assess what employees deemed to be the most important factors when considering a job abroad.
Rather unrevealing were the respondents desire for money, with 41 percent citing pay as their foremost consideration when targeting a new country for employment. The country s employee satisfaction rating and worldwide security were also important factors, along with having family and friends in that country.
With Egypt seeing a rise of ten places, to 106th, in the most recent Doing Business world ranking perhaps it is factors, such as those outlined by Bayt.com, that will see a continued improvement for Egypt in the years to come.