Ramadan in the work-place: some practical tips

Ramadan, the annual fasting-period for practicing Muslims, takes place this year from May 15 to June 14. 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

  • If possible, allow participants to adjust their work schedules to Ramadan. They could, for example, start working early in the morning when they have more energy.
  • Assign them as few tasks as possible in the heat or take extra precautions to prevent dehydration.
  • Be flexible about breaks. For someone who is fasting, a few short breaks throughout the day are more useful than a long lunch break.
  • Have fasting employees work in teams with those who don’t fast. In this way, it is possible to avoid dangerous situations or errors in case fasting employees are less alert.
  • Do your employees do shift work? Discuss with the rest of the team whether the participating colleagues could work night shifts. They are probably more productive at this time.
  • Eat and drink – if the participating colleagues indicate that this is more agreeable to them – wherever they can’t see you.
  • Show interest in the religious tradition of your employees. Ramadan is a great opportunity to learn about each other's cultures. Tip: by saying 'Ramadan Mubarak', you can wish your colleague a successful fasting period.

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!