One in three GCC residents say they have experienced symptoms of burnout, compared with one in four globally.

Two thirds of GCC residents experience symptoms of poor mental health and wellbeing, and nearly as many experience physical health challenges, according to a survey by the McKinsey Health Institute (MHI). 

Residents of Saudi Arabia had the highest instances of distress compared with the three other countries surveyed – UAE, Qatar and Kuwait – as well as the highest number of people reporting depression, anxiety and burnout.

The survey showed 66% of respondents reported mental health challenges, while 62% said they had experienced physical health challenges.

Of those surveyed, 18% said they had experienced social challenges while 18% experienced spiritual challenges.

The level of residents experiencing distress, which can be a precursor to burnout, was also higher in the GCC than globally, with 55% reporting it compared to 32% globally.

GCC residents were also more than twice as likely as global respondents to be intending to leave their jobs at the time of the survey, 36% compared with 16%.

However, some GCC-specific factors could be exacerbating intent to leave such as the sponsorship requirements for expatriates, or competition for local talent, McKinsey said.

More than half of employees, 55.7%, said they had experienced high levels of toxic behaviour in the workplace.

Locally born respondents also experienced higher levels depression, anxiety, distress, burnout, and problems with physical health than expats.

(Writing by Imogen Lillywhite; editing by Seban Scaria)