Boosting happiness

Shorter working days in Ramadan are nothing short of a win-win situation for one and all

Clocking in today will be tougher for those fasting, but the shorter working hours definitely bring joy to all.

Lee Hoagland/The National
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Clocking in today will be tougher for those fasting, but the shorter working hours definitely bring joy to all. Some employers may worry about losing precious working hours at this time of year, but studies in Germany and Japan have proved that shorter working weeks increase employee happiness and motivation in the short term and improve mental and physical health in the long term.

Of course, fasting will eventually take a physical toll towards the end of the day – yet clocking fewer hours will allow for more time spent with family, to relax and de-stress. That ought to make up for any productivity challenges.

Studies show productivity as optimal between the second and sixth hours on the job – so wise organisations could capitalise on the shorter work day, keeping productivity steady, while using Ramadan as a team-building moment to lift their team spirits. Who knows – done properly, employers might just see the chance to reduce working hours the whole year round.