New York: According to the results of a new survey, 77% of Muslim professionals said they try to maintain the same level of work productivity during Ramadan as they do outside of Ramadan, and feel that work should continue uninterrupted. At the same time, they do expect flexibility to perform optimally both in Muslim majority countries and in countries where they are minorities. What are these areas of flexibility needs? What are the levels of employee satisfaction during Ramazan?
DinarStandard, a Muslim market research and business media firm, and ProductiveMuslim Ltd, a productivity training and media firm, have joined forces to deliver a ground-breaking study that presents a fact-based assessment of the state of productivity during Ramadan across the world and offers recommendations for improving productivity of individuals, businesses and government institutions during Ramadan.
The study also looks at the differences in reduced Ramazan working hours in various Muslim majority countries and their economic impact. The study estimates a 4% decrease in productivity in the month’s GDP (Gross Domestic product) for each hour of work reduction per work day. This finding raises various questions for these governments to consider while searching for the right balance of Ramazan work-hour flexibility.
Rafiuddin Shikoh, the author of the report and Managing Director of Dinar Standard states, “For the first time, we have an actual pulse of what Muslim professionals expect and struggle with during Ramadan. These are strong insights that can help employers not only build goodwill with their Muslim employees, but directly and positively affect their companies’ productivity.” Mohammed Faris, Founder & CEO, Productive Muslim Ltd adds, “The survey results also show areas of spiritual activities that most Muslims struggle with during Ramazan, which can be addressed with better preparation—an area in which employers can also play a supporting role.”
For Muslim majority country based employers, the survey highlights arranging Iftar and Eid gatherings, and arranging for special Ramazan working hours, prayer times and facilities as key requests of employees. Muslim employees in Muslim minority countries were less happy with their employers’ flexibility during Ramadan. Despite the lower satisfaction rate, the researchers consider the results (48%) to be encouraging and indicative of the growing trend of businesses to accommodate a diverse workforce. Providing work-hour flexibility was the biggest request of these employees.
The survey was conducted online prior to Ramazan 2011, and marketed to Muslims in five key Muslim-majority countries (Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Pakistan, UAE) as well as five countries with sizeable Muslim minorities (USA, UK, Canada, India, Australia.) A total of 1524 responses were received, representing a 99% confidence level with a +/- 4% margin of error.
(DinarStandard specializes in the emerging Muslim markets, helping companies with their growth strategies. It has been a pioneer in researching and highlighting the emergence of the Muslim Lifestyle Market globally).
(ProductiveMuslim Ltd is a private UK company dedicated to promoting productivity amongst Muslims worldwide for members).