Hunger for success: How Ramadan can boost workplace productivity

Hunger for success: How Ramadan can boost workplace productivity
The month of Ramadan is usually been associated with a drop in performance and general laziness in the workplace, but maybe it doesn't have to be this way.

2 min read
30 May, 2017
During Ramadan, Muslims abstain from eating, drinking, smoking and sex from dawn to dusk [Getty]
Despite being commonly associated with a drop in performance and general lethargy in the office, the Muslim holy month of Ramadan could be a chance to boost happiness in the workplace according to one Middle East-focused consulting firm.

According to Oxford Strategic Consulting [OSC], if employers want their fasting workers to be on the ball over the holy month, they must adopt more progressive-thinking work patterns.

During Ramadan, Muslims around the world abstain from eating, drinking, smoking and having sex from dawn to dusk.

The month is sacred to Muslims because tradition says it marks the period when the Quran was revealed to the Prophet Mohammed.

OSC argues that organisations should allow employees to work fewer hours during Ramadan as studies have indicated that less time in the office does not actually mean less productivity.

"The UK was forced to work a three-day week due to a miners' strike in the 1970s; however, experts were baffled to find that production fell by only six percent," it said.

For office workers a six-hour work day is the optimal length as after that there is a major deterioration in performance with eight hours being the cut off for more labour intensive jobs.

The consultancy also suggests that firms should implement shorter work weeks during Ramadan as they have been proven to make staff actually like their jobs more.

"The Swedish government implemented a 30-hour work week for select employees during a two-year study and found that staff was happier, less stressed and enjoyed work more," it said.

To keep business competitive employees should also allow workers greater control over when and where they work.

"A study by the Birmingham Business School found that employees with more autonomy experienced greater overall well-being and job satisfaction," the consultants said.

"Thus, employers should use Ramadan to encourage employees to work more hours when and where they will feel comfortable," they added.

With these unorthodox methods, maybe bosses could see that Ramadan doesn't have to mean zombie-like employees trudging in and out of work for a month and discover that it could be transformed into 30 days of focusing on improving well-being and increasing productivity.

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