RESULTS (Work Environment):
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The remainder of the results in this report reflect the answers of the surveys employed respondents.
How do Muslims feel about their work productivity during Ramadan?
A majority (77%) of the working professional respondents 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.
One key implication of this finding is that people do not expect adjustments to their work hours. This is also highlighted by the earlier response that showed the greatest challenges to having a spiritual Ramadan do not include work flexibility.
However, 15% thought work should not be a priority, while a small percentage (3%) answered that nobody works during Ramadan. Meanwhile, 18% of the respondents felt their productivity does drop during Ramadan. This result was consistent in the responses of Muslim majority OIC countries as well as non-OIC markets (US, India, and UK being the largest such respondent countries).
- Question: How is your work productivity during Ramadan? (multiple select)
What special adjustments do employers make during Ramadan?
49% of the Muslim working professional respondents said their employers set special adjusted Ramadan hours. Other activities included: Iftar gatherings (22%), arrangements for special prayer time facilities (16%), and special Eid gatherings or gift-giving (14%).
There is, however, a stark difference between the responses from Muslim majority country respondents (OIC countries – Malaysia, Pakistan, Egypt, Saudia Arabia, and UAE being the largest respondent countries in this case) and non-OIC based respondents (US, India, and UK being the largest such respondent countries).
Whereas 76% of the OIC working professionals said employers set special Ramadan hours, only 25% of the respondents from non-OIC countries said the same. Similarly for all other adjustments, the non-OIC responses claimed much less adjustment than those from OIC countries.
This is perhaps to be expected. However, this response indicates that non-OIC based HR teams should consider further facilities to accommodate their Muslims employees, using OIC Ramadan practices as benchmark. There was an overwhelming majority of open comments from non-OIC based respondents to this question (164 out of 217 comments).
A selection of respondent comments and all charts can be viewed by downloading the full report (PDF)
- Question: During Ramadan, your employer/organization: (multiple select)
How satisfied are respondents with their employers
support during Ramadan?
60% of the respondents said they were satisfied with their employers support during Ramadan, agreeing that their employers go out of their way to provide flexibility during Ramadan. Meanwhile 27% said no, and the remaining respondents had other open-ended comments (summarized below).
Similar to the above question, there is a stark difference between the responses from Muslim majority countries (Malaysia, Pakistan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and UAE being the largest respondent countries in this case) and non-OIC respondents (US, India, and UK being the largest such respondent countries).
19% of OIC based respondents were unhappy with their employers’ support, whereas this number jumps to 35% for non-OIC based respondents. 74% of the OIC based respondents were happy with their employers’ support during Ramadan. The number dropped to 48% for respondents from non-OIC countries.
The fact that 48% of the non-OIC respondents were happy is encouraging. This is a strong indication that non-OIC countries tend to be accommodating to Muslims, although there is much room for improvement.
At the same time, OIC based HR groups have opportunities to evaluate employee satisfaction of their own Ramadan support programs.
- Questions asked: Are you happy with your employer/organizations support and flexibility during Ramadan?
What are some of the areas employers can improve upon in their support during Ramadan?
42% of the respondents would like employers to set special Ramadan hours. This request was much stronger among non-OIC based respondents (49% as opposed to 33% from those in OIC countries). Another strong area of request from non-OIC based respondents was for employers to arrange special prayer times or facilities (38%). Given that 77% of respondents earlier said that work should continue uninterrupted, this request of Ramadan work-hour flexibility (not necessarily reduction but adjustment) and prayer facilities signifies a need to help fasting employees deliver consistent work product while satisfying their Ramadan needs.
A sizeable number of OIC based respondents (34% and 36%) suggested that employers arrange Iftar gatherings, Eid gatherings and gift-giving as additional employee activities during Ramadan. This expectation was much lower from non-OIC based respondents.
- Question: What are some of the things your employer/organization can do to improve its support of Ramadan? (multiple select)
Does a company’s productivity suffer during Ramadan?
The majority of respondents (72%) agreed that their company’s productivity does not suffer during Ramadan, and that it is business as usual. As can be expected, this response was stronger from non-OIC based respondents (81% versus 61% from OIC based respondents.) Noteworthy is that 26% of OIC based respondents did think their company’s productivity does unnecessarily suffer during Ramadan.
- Questions asked: Do you believe your company’s productivity suffer during Ramadan?
Next >> Ramadan Study: Economic Context