With, 4.5 days work week, enhancing social well being, boosting productivity and so on. The UAE aims to become an attractive destination for investors.
With the eagle-eyed focus towards diversifying the economy and attracting foreign investment, the UAE has taken several measures till now. Ranging from changing legislations- longer term visas , changes in laws regarding cohabiting before marriage, alcohol and personal status- in order to accommodate investors to abolishing monopolies.
The latest measure being a 4.5 days work week, extending weekend from Friday afternoon till Sunday. Under the new work week for government entities, Friday working hours would end at 12 noon, ahead of Friday sermons and prayers.
A government statement said the move 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.”
With this change, the UAE becomes the first country to have the national working week shorter than the global 5 days work week. This has been done to get more inline with western schedules, the weekend alignment would help in accommodating internationally oriented businesses with this the UAE comes in line with the non-Arab world with the focus to attract international talent and enhance global competitiveness across economic and business sector, which could in turn boost its economy, exponentially.
The most important effect of this change would be on the human capital of the UAE,
A smaller work week helps in maintaining work- life balance, improving social well being, which has been dwindling in many countries across sectors. Moreover, this also puts mental health into focus, which has gained a lot of attention during the pandemic lockdown. Hence, the right implementation of one of the lessons learned during trying times. Other than work- life balance, it also helps in boosting the productivity of the economy. It has been experimented by Microsoft, that a four day work week is more effective and yields more returns than a five-day work week.
Hence a step in the very right direction to take the economy to new heights – by boosting its economic competitiveness.
Though its a much needed and appreciated reform, the cost has got the investors and the employers worried, as they argue that marginal work in five days more than the four days week. But this concern is unwarranted and could be overcome as the returns from a four day work week, with time far suppresses a five day week.
A good work-life balance is needed for the overall well- being of the person. It improves mental health and helps in establishing good social bonding and hence improving the social fabric and integrity of the nation. With this UAE has set an example for the rest of the world.