Dubai-based architects are less satisfied with work/life balance than interior designers, designMENA survey reveals

When comparing interior design and architecture industries in the region, it appears that those working in interior design are happier with their work-life balance. The results of the latest designMENA survey show that 36% of architects are satisfied with their work-life balance, far less than the 56% of interior designers.

The online survey took place during the working month of May 2017 with a total of 126 respondents. The results reveal that men and women have similar views and working patterns, with averages highlighting in almost identical results.

Satisfaction levels appear to be lower for employees in large firms, with 72% stating that their work life infringes upon their home life, compared to 59% of respondents at smaller companies. This rises to 75% among architects, compared to 65% for interior designers.

Elie Choucair, associate partner at Godwin Austen Johnson (GAJ), commented that overall, work-life balance is difficult to attain.

“Work-life balance can often seem like a myth, especially because the design market, client demands and today’s technology has made us accessible and reachable around the clock,” he said.

He also added that it is even more difficult working in a creative field than with other disciplines.

“Brilliant ideas can come at any time of the day regardless of what we are doing; so we do end up unconsciously carrying our work home with us,” he said.

On average, 48% of designers said they are satisfied with their overall work-life balance.

Interestingly, 45% of large firm employees reported being satisfied with their work-life balance, slightly lower than those working in smaller companies at 53%.

About one third said they were either somewhat or very dissatisfied with their work-life balance.

The findings are split into various categories including long hours vs. compensation, working flexible hours or on weekends, as well as health and sleep.  We also asked regional architects and designers to comment on the results.

Look out for further results in the upcoming weeks as well as in Commercial Interior Design’s July issue. 

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