Yesterday, the United Arab Emirates Government announced a four and a half-day work week. The Gulf country changed the public sector's work week to 4.5 days from Mondays to Thursdays, with Friday working hours starting from 7:30 AM and ending at 12:00 PM, starting from January 1st, 2022. Saturdays and Sundays will become the new weekend, in line with global markets.
Shane Phillips, CEO of executive search firm, The Phillips Group shares his thoughts on the new work week:
The new four and a half day work week creates a clear competitive advantage for the UAE in its ability to attract top talent from around the world. So, for us as Executive Search Consultants, we see this as a quintessential edge that will help tip the scale providing a business advantage for those companies looking to hire top performers who will decide to migrate to the UAE for tax advantages, fiscal and government initiatives such as; easier visa regulations, safety, the standard of living, its environmental and technology focus, and now its work week. All of which will make the UAE one of the top countries to live and work in and as a result one of most important business hubs in the world.
While some employers are concerned the reduced working hours might affect productivity, our experience has taught us otherwise. Approximately 80 per cent of your results in business come from 20 per cent of your people. This 20 per cent of top performers will not be affected by the new working hours as they are not working the standard nine to six to start with. Winners who are passionate about their work will continue to determine their own working hours which often includes late nights and weekends. Certainly, in a Covid and post covid world, fixed working hours have become a thing of 2019.
This announcement provides an opportunity for companies to review the remaining 80% of employees who are generally underperforming. During his tenure at General Electric, Jack Welch implemented a strategy where he annually retrenched the bottom 10% of performers across the organisation. According to reports, General Electric never performed better than under his leadership. Realistically, leaders can sack 10 to 20 per cent of employees and increase the overall performance of the organisation.
UAE Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, Abdulrahman al-Awar, urged private sector companies, on Tuesday, to adopt the new shorter work week to be implemented by the public sector at the beginning of 2022, and amend internal operations to ensure employees are guaranteed adjusted benefits. I believe the private sector will look at following suit once additional reports have come out to placate leaders on the benefits of reduced working hours for the business as a whole. Overall, this is an exciting announcement from the UAE government. It will come as no surprise if other countries in the region follow suit in the coming years.
About TPG :
The Phillips Group (TPG) is a global, exclusive, retained executive search firm. For almost 40 years, TPG has been the premiere choice for board and C-level executive placements, for multinational companies.
Where competency assessments are commonplace amongst search firms, TPG goes above and beyond to find the right fit for its clients. TPG starts with understanding its client's company vision, strategy and objectives. This information is then used to develop critical success factors necessary to achieve these goals and identify the right candidate. Someone that will not only help clients achieve these goals but exceed them.
Since inception, TPG has focused on quality service, building strong leadership teams through its relationships with clients, as well as its market knowledge, worldwide. Today, TPG Leadership operates from principal business centres in Toronto, Dubai, London, Budapest and Beirut.
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