Are you working five days a week or more? How does this affect your well-being? In this article, we will discuss the effect of overwork on employees’ mental and physical health, how the four-day work week has brought significant impacts on both the businesses and the employees, and how ALAMI’s implementation of the #Bye5 policy boosts the employees’ well-being and productivity.
Research: overwork causes cardiac disease and stroke
In some cultures, spending long hours working is seen as a sign of success. In several countries like Japan, overwork used to be seen as a norm. Many workers used to prioritize their career, sacrificing their health and personal well-being in the process.
According to a paper published on May 17, 2021 conducted by several authors from some organizations like the World Health Organization and International Labor Organization (ILO) around 750,000 people are dying from coronary heart disease and stroke related to working long hours. The study points out that overwork is the largest risk factor for occupational disease.
The current trend of growing awareness of mental health and stability has made us realize the importance of work – life balance. Moreover, the recent outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us that managing our stress levels is very important to keep our immune system strong lest we become more susceptible to the rapidly spreading Coronavirus.
Can the 4-Day Work week be a Game Changer?
As many companies begin caring more about their employees’ quality of life, the idea of a four-day work week reemerges. It’s not something unheard of before. In fact, the movement to support the four-day work week began as early as the 1970’s.
The idea becomes more popular in recent years as the increase in remote work due to the activity restrictions leads to the demand for more flexible working hours. Trials have been launched in several countries to test the efficacy of the four-day work week policy.
In the UK, over 3,300 workers from 70 companies ranging from local fish and chip restaurants to large financial institutions recently began their six-month trial where they will work for four days a week, reported by The Guardian. In other countries, like Spain and Scotland, governments are set to begin the trial later this year.
Trials and survey show promising results
According to a survey by the recruitment company Reed in 2021, over 80% of workers in the UK would prefer a four-day working week. The survey also mentions two benefits of the four-day model, namely maintaining staff’s morale and reducing absences as well as helping to attract and retain talented professionals.
Several prominent figures, including UAE’s Minister of State for Government Development and the Future of the UAE Ohood Bint Khalfan Al Roumi, spoke positively of the results of the four-day work week trial.
“Some of the early data that we gathered are really promising. 70% of employees reported that they are working more efficiently, prioritizing and managing their time better during the week. 55% reduction in absenteeism, which is wonderful. And 71% of employees reported that they’re spending more time with their families,” she said. In the UAE, public sector workers have shifted to the four and a half days week model since 2021.
With early trials showing promising results, will there be any future for the four-day work week in Indonesia?
ALAMI’s #Bye5 aims to balance work, life, and worship
In Indonesia, there aren’t many businesses that are brave enough to conduct a four-day work week trial. However, an Indonesian company decided to make a change.
ALAMI Sharia, Indonesia’s leading sharia-based financial technology company, decided to hop on the four-day work week trend in October 2021. How did it start, and how does it improve the company’s productivity?
On the Productive Muslim Podcast hosted by Mohammed Faris, founder of Productive Muslim, ALAMI Group CEO Dima Djani explained that the idea was proposed by ALAMI’s People and Culture team. He mentioned that the team took into account the Islamic spiritual point of view when proposing the idea to make Friday a holiday.
“There are two things that the team was looking at. First, we understand as a Muslim that Friday is sayyid-ul-ayyam, the most glorified day of the week, with the Friday prayer and all that. Can we free up Friday so that people can focus on spirituality?” he explained on the podcast in November 2021.
He was first surprised by the team’s proposal, but as a CEO of a company which instills Islamic values, he supports this initiative as a way to focus on worshiping Allah.
“Insha Allah, we are trying to glorify Allah, Allah will help us. In addition, these things will help our team to think more efficiently and work more efficiently. So, yeah, I approved it,” he added.
Due to the prevalent hustle culture in Indonesia, this innovative policy made a huge buzz. “It went viral so we used the hashtag #Bye5. It just went viral like that because in Indonesia the hustle culture is so heavy. People feel burnt out, especially those working in fast-growing startups. And there’s this fast-growing startup that thinks the other way,” he said, smiling.
Does cutting one work day cut productivity? Interestingly, it does not. In fact, it helps boost employees’ productivity by removing stress and giving them time to focus on family and worship on Friday.
“It removes the psychological burnout. Friday is off, but some people actually still come to the office to work, but because they know Friday is a holiday so they feel less burdened. There’s a psychological burnout that is being removed,” Dima explained.
As a result of this increased productivity, by the end of October 2021, ALAMI made an increase in disbursement by 40% month-on-month. “Some of the metrics actually reached all-time high,” Dima added.
Until late June 2022, ALAMI has disbursed over IDR 3 trillion or more than USD 200 million. In addition, until 2021, ALAMI has supported over 7,500 Indonesian Small and Medium Enterprises, opening 16,000 formal jobs and 14,500 informal jobs.
ALAMI strives to promote financial equity and welfare in society through the implementation of sharia values. Through its P2P lending app, ALAMI opens opportunities for people who want to make impacts by funding Indonesian SMEs. By funding through ALAMI, you can get up to 14% returns p.a.
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