Productivity in Ramadan: RESULTS (Work Environment)

RESULTS (Work Environment):

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Productivity in Ramadan 2011 Report

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)
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)
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?
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)
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 suffers during Ramadan?
Questions asked: Do you believe your company’s productivity suffer during Ramadan?

 

Next >>  Ramadan Study: Economic Context

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Forbes lists ten Muslims among world’s most influential 70 people

Forbes_Power70

Recently released ranking by Forbes magazine lists ten Muslims among the most influential 70 people in the  world.  Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah, was again selected the most influential person among Muslims and the sixth person in all 70 people, due to the location of Islam’s holiest site in KSA and his impressive social reform in Saudi Arabia. Ali Hoseini-Khamenei, the second most influential Muslim, ranked at the 26th position due to his influential character in the Iran affairs. Ali Al-Naimi, the oil minister of the Kingdom that contains 20% of the world’s known oil reserves, is another person ranked at the 31st position. Most of the Muslim influential persons are the head of states or have governmental administration backgrounds.

Azim Premji and Alisher Usmanov are among business leaders featured in the most influential people’s list and they are also listed among the world’s richest people ranking by Forbes. Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and India each have two Muslim influential persons listed in the ranking, while Iran, Turkey and Russia have a single person each. A list of the top ten people is shown in the table below:

World’s Rank Name Title Country Age
6 Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al Saud King, Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia 87
26 Ali Hoseini-Khamenei Grand Ayatollah Iran 72
31 Ali Al-Naimi Oil Minister, KSA Saudi Arabia 76
34 Ashfaq Parvez Kayani Chief of Army Staff Pakistan 59
48 Recep Erdogan Prime Minister Turkey 57
53 Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan President, UAE UAE 63
56 Ahmed Shuja Pasha Director-General of ISI Pakistan 59
57 Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar Leader, D-Company India 55
61 Azim Premji Chairman, Wipro India 66
70 Alisher Usmanov Oligarch Russia 58

 

US president Barack Obama regained his position at the top, followed by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, taking the second position, while Chinese President Hu Jintao has slipped from the No. 1 spot on the magazine’s annual rankings to the third place. Sonia Gandhi (11th), Manmohan Singh (19th), Mukesh Ambani (35th) and Lakshmi Mittal (47th) are other Indians who are ranked as most influential persons, besides the two Indian Muslims, Dawood and Azim Prem Ji.

Shafeeq Rahman is a professional researcher on India-centric socio-economic and political databases and can be reached at rahman.shafeeq@gmail.com.

 

MO’MEN: Egyptian Revolution “Freedom Fries”

moemenfries

I came across this ad today; the Arabic copy reads, “A revolutionary taste”.  Mo’men, a  fast food restaurant in Egypt,  is a truly Egyptian brand, having started as a modest food cart on the streets of Cairo. Now 57 restaurants strong, and serving over ten million customers a year, Mo’men is quick to show its patriotism with this ad.

(By the way, my post title intends no reference to the American  “Freedom Fries” euphemism which was seen on the menus of restaurants displeased with France’s opposition to the war in Iraq.)

It’s interesting to juxtapose how Mo’men wants to position itself with KFC’s perceived positioning throughout the revolution. State television accused protestors of being foreign agents, seduced by free KFC meals that were being handed out at the square. Later in the revolution, KFC became a symbol of oppression; as it was believed the old regime’s hired thugs were given 100 Egyptian pounds and a KFC meal to terrorize protestors.

I wonder what other consumer brands will jump on the bandwagon of Egyptian Revolution values. Do you know of any other brands that already have?