According to the results of a new survey led by market research firm DinarStandard, 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 Ramadan?
DinarStandard, a Muslim market research and business media firm, and Productive Muslim 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 Ramadan working hours in various Muslim majority countries and their economic impact.
The study estimates a 4% decrease in productivity in the month’s GDP for each hour of work reduction per workday.
Rafi-uddin Shikoh, the author of the report and Managing Director of DinarStandard 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 and CEO, Productive Muslim Ltd adds, “The survey results also show areas of spiritual activities that most Muslims struggle with during Ramadan, which can be addressed with better preparation—an area in which employers can also play a supporting role.”
Some other key survey findings include:
u For Muslim majority country based employers, the survey highlights arranging Iftar and Eid gatherings, and arranging for special Ramadan working hours, prayer times and facilities as key requests of employees.
u 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 Ramadan 2011, and marketed to Muslims in five key Muslim-majority countries (Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Pakistan, UAE) as well as five countries with sizable 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.