It is the duty of all to work hard with full dedication during shortened working hours
Ramadan is a month for Muslims to feel closer to God and look inward into their soul. It is a time to foster bonds with family and loved ones. It is a month of caring, empathising with the needy and doing good deeds.
But with this journey of introspection also comes a few practices that must be curtailed. There is over-eating at iftar and wasting of food. There is also a tendency to slow down at work, followed by a feeling of laziness after iftar.
But this goes against the very spirit of the special month. Ramadan cannot be used as an excuse to neglect duties and slow down at work. It amounts to exploiting Ramadan.
In the Gulf and a few other countries, working hours are reduced by two to allow those fasting time for prayer and family. But it has been proved that productivity suffers when, in fact, workers should utilise shortened hours to complete their duties with full concentration and dedication.
One study estimates that the UAE loses Dh5.14 billion in gross domestic product (GDP). Saudi Arabia loses Dh8.81 billion and the Gulf Cooperation Council as a whole suffers a total loss of Dh21.3 billion in GDP due to the reduced working hours.
Most agree that productivity does drop during the month and that a concerted effort must be made to ensure efficiency, but these figures prove that the contrary happens. It, therefore, comes down to introspection. During the journey of self-examination, the question should be: Was work done in all honesty and dedication? This month is special and as we observe it, we must be true to Ramadan.