Ramadan is my favourite time of year. With greetings for the Holy month being made across the Arab and Muslim world, I’m getting ready for a period of prayers, dedication and also hard work.
While Ramadan is a time for piety and reflection, it is also a time that we are expected to do more, rather than less. This is an especially important message in the Middle East where we start seeing reduced business hours in light of the Holy month.
Ramadan is certainly not a time of reduced productivity or efficiency. On the contrary, fasting sharpens concentration and brings about clarity of mind. Evidence shows that reduced working hours allow for better productivity as it gives employees time to recuperate during the week and spend more time doing enjoyable social activities with family and friends – therefor more ready to actually work when at work.
While it is still hard for most companies to wrap their heads around the notion that less time in the office could mean more productivity, it is a concept worth looking into. Think of it this way – it comes down to using time more efficiently.
Not only that, more and more organisations have also been implementing flexible hours and working place that allow employees to come in at different times and to work from different locations. This not only allows employees to choose their most productive time and place to work, it teaches employees to take responsibility for their actions and accountable for getting the work done – another important Ramadan lesson.
While these are concepts that are slow coming in the region, they are catching on, and Ramadan might offer companies a glimmer of what to expect.
For those of us who do meet with the physical challenges of fasting, our minds must be extra sharp to compensate. And that is a lesson to carry with us throughout the entirety of the year – both in terms of personal and professional development.
Let me take this opportunity on behalf of myself and C&B to wish you all a Ramadan Kareem.