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Shorter workweeks gain traction in UAE

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It’s being billed as the beginning of a new era of work-life balance: Findings from a new pilot project in the UK – organized at the behest of 4 Day Week Global, UK 4 Day Week Campaign and think tank Autonomy – have shown it’s an all-around successful exercise .

This is good news for the employees, who are happier, healthier and more engaged with their work goals, and for the companies involved in the program, as they realize that productivity has skyrocketed – with no downside at all . Nearly 2,900 workers at 61 companies took part in the six-month trial, which concluded with many deciding to make the four-day work week the new normal.

“We are very encouraged by the results, which show the number of ways in which companies have turned the dream of a four-day work week into a reality policy, with multiple benefits,” said David Frayn, a research associate at the University of Cambridge. He was involved in the research trial, in a statement. “We think there’s a lot here that should inspire other companies and industries to try.”

In a post-pandemic world where people are emotionally vulnerable and dealing with complex psychological issues, the UAE has been quick to embrace it and reduced its working week last year when the UAE public sector transitioned to flexible Fridays and Saturdays – Models are off on Sunday. (In fact, the emirate of Sharjah has declared a four-day work week for the public sector, with Fridays being a full-day holiday.)

Now, more than ever, employees need to be in a good mood, it’s argued, and if giving them the added bonus of more personal time helps, so be it. Furthermore, the new-age workplace demands quality, not quantity, and the UAE was one of the first countries to recognize this. During the pandemic, many people have moved to remote work modules with the help of technology, where they work shorter shifts but put in far more time during those hours. It’s proven to work — if not work.

Workplaces have long struggled to give employees more leeway to schedule “set” hours or days. One of the biggest takeaways from the UK project is that if less time needs to be invested, work is automatically stepped up to ensure the task at hand is completed in less time.

Often, longer hours mean people are moving slower and therefore less productive. When workers are promised a better work-life balance—without wage docking—they will do their best without violating ethics.

It remains to be seen how many more markets will carry out this experiment, but if any, it will spark debate on the issue of reduced workweeks. This time, he was even more determined.

Copyright © 2022 Khaleej Times. all rights reserved. Supplied by SyndiGate Media Inc. (Syndicate Information).

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