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3-day weekend: How Sharjah employees used the extra days off



Residents said the shorter workweek has helped them strike a better work-life balance and allowed them to pursue hobbies and personal projects

Sharjah government employees enjoyed 157 days as their weekend off last year as the Emirate switched to a four-day workweek. As the UAE adopted a new weekend of Saturday-Sunday in January 2022, Sharjah gave its government staff an additional Friday off.


And the move has paid off, according to official statistics released on Tuesday. In addition to Sharjah public employees reporting higher job satisfaction (up 90 per cent) and productivity (up 88 per cent), customers gave a service satisfaction rate of 94 per cent.

Sharjah government employees told Khaleej Times that the three-day weekend helped them strike a better work-life balance and allowed them to pursue hobbies and personal commercial projects.


Saud Al Kutubbi, an employee of the Sharjah Media Corporation, said the weekend helped him better family ties. He uses Fridays to visit extended family members, while the other two days give him time to pursue things like exercise and hobbies.

For Mohammed Al Kabbi, an employee of the Sharjah Municipality, the three-day weekend has helped reduce work-related stress and enhance family cohesion. “All of this has helped boost my productivity and performance at work.”

Aisha M. Al Ajill, who works at the Sharjah Culture and Information Department, said the new system helps her spend more time with her children. “It has helped me spiritually as well. I use the additional time to fast, memorise the holy Quran and offer prayers.”

The shorter workweek has also resulted in fewer traffic accidents and casualties. According to official statistics, traffic incidents and deaths decreased by 40 per cent in the first three months of 2022 compared to 2021. The move also resulted in a significant drop in the emission of gases like carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide.


Some private sector companies also adopted the three-day weekend. Employees in such companies had told Khaleej Times how work is much beyond salaries. “Work-life balance is equally important,” an employee had said.


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