Driving At Same Horsepower On An Empty Tank, Understanding Ramadan and Business Productivity Challenges
The month of Ramadan is a very significant period on the Islamic Calendar. Muslims around the world place high priority on the observance of the fast, thus abstaing from food and water from dawn till dusk. It is seen as a form of spiritual upliftment and a quest to attain nearness to Allah.
Whilst spirituality is on the rise, another very key metric of the Muslim worker, Employee or Business Professional appears to be greatly compromised in the process; Productivity. The routine of activities that take place during this 30 day period of intense steadfastness culminate into a physically drained but faith-full Muslim as far as having to work is concerned.
Generally waking up at 3 AM to observe supplicatory prayer, eating the dawn meal at 4 AM and praying Fajr at 5 AM steals every chance of getting a full night’s sleep. This means coming to work with sleep arrears. Coupled with abstinence from eating drinking, it isn’t unusual then to see heads on tables, workers coiled in corners and a lot of yawning throughout the day.
Low Energy Levels
Eating well, eating healthy and Eating on time is the recommended nutritionists’ advice in order to maintain adequate energy levels for normal functioning of brain and body. The routines, however, do not allow for all three of these conditions to be met. Even when all three are met, sleep/rest is the last ingredient to replenish energy levels which also turns out to be gravely deprived.
Hence the result is a half-tanked surviving Muslim worker, with nothing close to optimum levels of energy expected to operate at the same productivity level. It would be expected then that work output would suffer inadvertently.
Body Clock Disruption
A sudden change in sleep-wake cycle also means that for the first few days and the coming days, the worker would experience feelings of lethargy, a distorted attention and a generally drowsy self. This means that less work would get done within the same working hours of the day.
Even more, a lot of mathematical and judgemental errors are likely to be made because of the absence of focus.
What To Do
Most people observing the fast are generally active in the early hours of the day until dehydration starts to set it at noon. With dryness of throat setting in and the feeling of hunger becoming more pinching, the later hours of the day are very likely to be bad times to overload wokers as there is a high chance it might not be done well, that is if it would be done at all.
As a business owner or HR manager, pull much of the work upwards into the morning and ease out on the workload as the day progresses. Also include short rest periods between times to allow for a quick nap or a stretch to take away the feeling of disruption of mind and body.
It would not be easy, but it would certainly be over in a matter of days and life would return to normalcy. The bright side is that some of your overweight employees would come out of the Ramadan even more productive as they would have shed off some weight. Lol
Abdul-Moomin Shahabdeen, Zaabuni Digital Media