72 thoughts on “The Development of Fixed Working Hours

  1. Noura says:

    Kudos on the E-Mag.

    To stick to topic, I would like to say that to look at “fixed working hours” in its context is entirely different than in general. The context here being the UAE. I am not saying we are better or worse than other countries who employ these working methods, but we do have to agree that the different lifestyles should be taken into consideration. At the moment, western countries have developed much more flexible working hours for their employees, and that is perhaps due to their long experience with the system. The UAE on the other hand is more stringent, despite the different needs of the people, and that is also perhaps due to the young age with which fixed working hours have been implemented. Yes, different companies employ different rules, but based on what is best for the company, not the welfare or productivity of their employees.

    I am not against fixed working hours at all, but the over the top scrutiny of minutes or seconds by which the employees work is, I feel, very unnecessary. The weather in this region does not work with this system, especially for commuters. A daily commute in the winter is 3 times more tiring in the summer. Again, I will say that it is normal to tire out while working, but to be exhausted behind the wheel is putting yourself and others in dangers.

    Secondly, I will start by saying that I am not bashing other ethnicities, but highlighting the fact that *most* (not all) foreign workers who come to this country are either single, or mainly adult couples, who are not burdened by an entire family. They may have responsibilities back in their countries, but are not dealing with the day to day requirements of grandparents, or handicapped family members, young family members of many different ages all who are not capable of shouldering their own requirements in this country. This is a car culture as well as a conservative culture, whereby a minor (including teens) can almost never walk themselves to a bookshop, especially if a female.

    An 8 – 5 working day cuts into all the family schedules, where everything stops, and vacation time is used for family chores and unfinished paperwork and business, not for relaxation.

    Most of have to just deal with it right? We have to stick to our jobs and responsibilities if we are to support our family. And we have to deal with coming home to a lonely grandmother, exhausted parents, hungry children, and a withered garden. People will attempt to solve your dilemma with “maids”, “drivers” and “gardeners”, but will never consider your budget. On the other hand they will call you lazy, or neglectful of personally dealing with your home and children.

    There are many exceptions, and even foreigners with families deal with similar situations, but the fixed working hours in the UAE are made to accommodate the single business man and woman. Those who can unwind in their own space, and choose whether to have to cook or not.

    I did not mean this to become a long issue of how we live versus the west, but more so on highlighting WHY companies should consider their locale when setting up a business.

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