The UAE moves to a 4.5-day week to 'boost productivity and improve work-life balance' 1 month ago

The UAE moves to a 4.5-day week to 'boost productivity and improve work-life balance'

It has not yet been revealed whether privately-owned companies will also follow suit in the UAE

The United Arab Emirates is changing the schedules of all federal employees so that they only work four and a half days a week.

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In a bid to "boost productivity and improve work-life balance," the UAE is completely reshuffling its working week, which currently runs from Monday to Thursday evening and then Sunday.

From January of 2022, the weekend will start midday on Friday and run through to Sunday night, the government announced Tuesday December 7.

The government has said that the working week will run from 7:30am to 3:30pm Monday to Thursday, and then 7:30am to 12pm on Friday.

It has not yet been revealed whether privately-owned companies will also follow suit.

While most Muslim majority countries set their working week around prayer, the new structure will align the UAE with other global powers to streamline trade.

The government said it would: "ensure smooth financial, trade and economic transactions with countries that follow a Saturday-Sunday weekend, facilitating stronger international business links and opportunities for thousands of UAE-based and multinational companies."

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Four-day working weeks are constantly discussed across the globe, with many experts claiming that it increases productivity, morale and actually aids in economic growth.

Earlier this year, a social study in Iceland was branded an "overwhelming success".

"The Icelandic shorter working week journey tells us that not only is it possible to work less in modern times, but that progressive change is possible too," said Gudmundur D. Haraldsson, a researcher involved in the experiment.

"Our roadmap to a shorter working week in the public sector should be of interest to anyone who wishes to see working hours reduced."

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