Ramadan in the work-place: some practical tips

Ramadan, the annual fasting-period for practicing Muslims, takes place this year from the 10th of March until the 10th of April. For one month, they eat and drink only after sunset. What impact does this abstinence have on the work environment, and how can you handle it as a manager?

With over 800,000 Muslims in Belgium, there is a good chance that one of your employees will fast during this holiday period.

Impact on the work floor

Not having anything to eat or drink from sunrise to sunset has its consequences. Employees may tire more quickly or have trouble concentrating. Those who fast often experience more stress or become irritated more quickly. Also, dehydration is not excluded, especially not when the temperature rises.

Effective agreements and mutual respect help avoid potential inconveniences and risks. This ensures that everyone stays safe, productive and motivated during Ramadan.

Minor changes make the difference

  • As a manager, discuss with those taking part in Ramadan whether it is possible to adjust their working hours. For example, they can start earlier in the morning when they have more energy.
  • Give participants who cannot work from home as few tasks as possible in the heat or take extra precautionary measures to prevent dehydration.
  • Be flexible about breaks. For someone who is fasting, a few short breaks throughout the day is more beneficial than a long lunch break.
  • Have fasting employees who cannot work at home team up with those who do not fast. This helps prevent dangerous situations or mistakes should the former become less alert.
  • Does your staff work shifts? Check with the rest of the team whether colleagues who fast can take night shifts. They will then be more productive.
  • Eat and drink out of sight of participating colleagues if possible.
  • Show interest in your employee's religious tradition. Ramadan is a great opportunity to learn about each other's cultures. Tip: wish him or her a successful fast with the saying 'Ramadan Mubarak'.

Do you prioritise a healthy work-place?

Rely on our experts to develop an effective health policy that enables fit employees to work in a safe place. Need some more ideas, support or advice? Mensura is happy to help you boost your business energy!