As a very diverse region, we have employees from all backgrounds and traditions. Ramadan is an incredible time to celebrate not only our Muslim colleagues but also our own traditions. Let’s truly embrace the traditions of our home…. the UAE.
Whilst people who observe Ramadan will be putting their willpower to the test we can do a lot to maintain that balance of productivity in the workplace and joyously celebrate with our peers. Here are some top tips to keep the wheels turning:
There needs to be awareness across the team. From understanding the culture and needs of individuals to having compassion that energy levels may be a bit lower due to fasting or lack of sleep. We must also be respectful of time, calendars, and schedules. It would be too easy to forget about Iftar timings but having this knowledge shows great consideration to your colleagues.
Managers can ensure that they delegate effectively. During Ramadan, it is a time for empathy and which must come into the workplace too. If a manager is aware that someone is fasting, they can delegate tasks a bit more creatively with other team members in mind too. An open communication policy is needed among team members during this time.
As an employee who is observing Ramadan you may feel you have less time or energy to complete tasks but making sure you have clear lists or plans in place should really help you prioritise your workload. Ensure you tackle some of the more challenging tasks in the morning and have a clear plan for the rest of the day. If support is needed be open with your team.
Even though the days are technically 2 hours shorter you won't be eating lunch or having breaks for coffee so may find that you can distract yourself from hunger or thirst by working through. Just make sure you have regular breaks from the laptop and/or have regular walks out to ensure you get enough vitamin D!
It would be easy to break fast with a lot of sugary foods but ensure you have food that equips you with the nutrients you need so you don’t have spikes of energy throughout the working day. Choose balanced meals and slow-release carbohydrates. A colourful plate of plants, fibre and protein will set you up for the day! Also, make sure you are hydrated as much as possible during non-fasting hours.
As residents of the UAE, we should really celebrate the local traditions, from having team iftars or having someone who is observing Ramadan teaching the other members of the team ways they could contribute.
Ramadan is about giving and kindness so having charitable incentives would be a great way to have the team bond around this time too. You could come up with a charitable drive where everyone could contribute, in turn bringing everyone together.
Be aware of your non-fasting employees, having a dedicated space where individuals can eat, and drink is always appreciated.
The spirit of Ramadan is a beautiful time and this month does not need to hinder productivity in any way if you learn to focus on your goals and keep in mind the little tips and tricks to help you feel energised and always ready to seize the day.