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UAE Will Be 1st Country To Move To 4.5 Days Work Week Just For Mental Health


Uae Shorter Working Week
Source: Christin Hume l Unsplash & Louie Nicolo Nimor l Unsplash

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Working for five days a week and having only two days to rest definitely takes a toll on us.

The measly two days of weekend is not really enough for us to properly rest and to sort out the things needed such as going to the bank or renewing our passport.


UAE is the 1st country in the world to introduce a working week shorter than the global 5-day week

As a step towards making sure that the citizens of UAE will be having a better work-life balance, the government has announced that they will be making an official shift from a five day work week to a four and a half-day work week.

This move officially starts on 1 January 2022 and it is applicable for those who work in federal government entities. This is how the work week looks like:

  • Monday to Thursday: 7:30am till 3.30pm (8 working hours per day)
  • Friday: 7:30am till 12:00pm (4 and a half working hours)

Civil servants on the other hand can work from home on Fridays and they are allowed to have flexible working hours as well.

Friday sermons and prayers in the UAE will be standardised to 1:15pm.

Uae People Out And About

With this, UAE is the first country globally to adopt a shorter-than-5-days working week.


All for a healthy work-life balance

This shortening of work hours was to ensure that the social and familial ties of the citizens of UAE will not be negatively impacted.

The longer weekend is an effort by the government to make sure that the people’s work-life balance is boosted and their social wellbeing is enhanced.

“Adopting an agile working system will enable the UAE to rapidly respond to emerging changes and enhance wellbeing in the workplace.”

Working On Laptop


Microsoft and Unilever did a trial-run

Microsoft Japan, Unilever New Zealand and even a local digital agency ran a trial of the 4-day workweek. And up to date, it has been working well for them!

A larger-scale study that was conducted in Iceland has shown that the workers’ productivity level either remained or improved in a majority of the workplaces.

The results of the trials show that the workers felt less stressed and less burnt out. Other than that, they also said that their work-life balance and health have improved as they were able to spend more time with their family, on their hobbies and on their household chores.

Having a four-day workweek in Malaysia would be great for our mental health in our opinion, but will Malaysia move to this?


Also read: Less Stressed Workers & Improved Productivity! 4-Day Work Week Trial In Iceland A “Great Success”

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