Workers in Saudi Arabia have reportedly called on the government to change working hours during Ramadan, including early morning or evening shifts, to improve productivity.
Those interviewed by Arab News said fasting between sunrise and sunset made some workers less productive during Ramadan, when working hours were usually set at 10am to 2pm.
They suggested working immediately after sunrise – such as 7am to noon – or after sunset would make workers more productive.
Some Muslims complained that they were tired during the day due to fasting as well as religious requirements at night.
“It would be better for Ramadan to be a holiday for all employees so they can have enough time to fulfill religious obligations, or to have an evening shift so they can coordinate their work and prevent delays,” Ali Hazaa, who works for a private company, told the newspaper.
Saleh Al Hamadi said: “I think it would be better for working hours to change to the evening during Ramadan so that staff can do their work properly.”
Ahmed Asiri said productivity at government departments during Ramadan needed to be improved.
“We have a hard time at government departments in Ramadan because there are fewer employees.
This results in paperwork and procedures taking longer,” he said.
Other workers, however, say that Ramadan does not affect their productivity.
“I support the need for employees to work during Ramadan,” said Hassan Alqani. “But I think the work period should be reduced to two weeks during the month to allow individuals enough time to attend to their social and religious obligations, particularly during the last 10 days of Ramadan.”