Sharjah, UAE: The Health Promotion Department, HPD, at the Supreme Council for Family Affairs in Sharjah has announced the results of its study “Impact of remote working on employees’ health”, the first of its kind study across the region which was launched in June 2020.
The study is part of the executive phases of the “Wazen” program, the first health survey for Sharjah government employees. Designed for 12,000 employees, the study centered on 4 main criteria; pros and cons of remote working, the impact of remote working on employee’s physical and mental health, the productivity and performance of remote employees, and the effects of this work system on nutritional behaviors and practices, and physical activity.
This was stated during a virtual press conference held on Wednesday in the presence of HE Iman Rashid Saif, Director of Health Promotion Department, Dr. Mansour Habib, Consultant Family Medicine & Occupational Health, representatives of public institutions participating in the study, and media representatives.
The study found that 65% of the employees continued to work remotely in spite of having general symptomatic and signs, 43% of those surveyed mentioned they were exposed to eye pain. It also showed that the average of mental health recovery and feeling of happiness among Sharjah Government employees reached 79%.
Concerning the impact of remote working on the productivity of employees, 90% of the participants expressed their satisfaction with their productivity during working remotely, while 87% underlined that this work system gives plenty of time to complete the tasks. In terms of the impact on nutritional behaviors and lifestyles, 78% confirmed that they followed a healthy diet during working remotely, whilst 30% pointed to the decline in their physical activity during the pandemic.
Commenting on the outcomes of the study, Iman Rashid Saif said: “The study has come up with important outputs and results that help to gain a better understanding of the impact of remote working on employees’ social and health aspects and develop solutions to the challenge they face due to this new work system.”
“Based on the results, a host of new initiatives, decisions, and activities will be developed to enhance the health and safety of employees, in line with the march of the Emirate of Sharjah and its health trends in terms of coping with the global changes in the work system,” she added.
Pointing to the Department’s strategic partnership with the University of Sharjah, the HPD Director hinted that the two entities will be preparing a research paper to publish the study outcomes in the occupational-health-concerned scientific journals.
An educational session was held on the sidelines of the press conference and presented by Dr. Mansour Habib, where he highlighted the impact of remote working on the physical and mental health of employees, such as spinal pain, mental and physical stress, and social isolation.