01 Sep, 2018 HAVE YOUR SAY Sachira De Silva September 1, 2018 HAVE YOUR SAY2018-09-06T14:05:15+00:00 HAVE YOUR SAY 8 Comments LESS DAYS OFF IN THE NEW YEAR! How do you view the fact that there will be less holidays during the week in 2019 – in the context of workplace productivity? Share this:PrintEmailFacebookLinkedInTwitterGoogleSkypeWhatsApp
In my opinion, holidays do have some effect on productivity. Rather than having an increased number of holidays, it is better to have a flexible work routine. It will be an ideal way to enhance productivity. If the system is more flexible, the employees do not have to force themselves too much when they get leave. Fewer holidays will not lead to better productivity. What matters is to train the employees to work with enthusiasm so that the deadlines will be obviously met without any difficulty.
It can be recommended that rather than judging our productivity based on the number of holidays, we should consider the possibilities of new methods, processes and technologies in the way we work. This outlook can be applied and extended – from agriculture to services and manufacturing, as well as exports.
There is considerable potential to be tapped in the production sector and this will look at agile systems that can create value at a lower cost. Even the private sector is still wasting on over processing and cumbersome ways of working, and investing in complicated and costly systems. Therefore, such methods need to be replaced or fine-tuned by innovative and simplified ways of working. So this marks our level of productivity and not the holidays on the calendar.
No calendar holidays has no impact. As organisations, they would plan their objectives ahead and establish an action plan. It is an organisation’s sole decision how they want to achieve it and measure the performance. This doesn’t and should be affected by holidays.
Climate change is making a huge impact in the contribution to national production. According to the changes in weather patterns that were experienced during the past three years, weather changes are the reason for disasters such as droughts, landslides and floods, which were reported in major cities and suburbs. Even in suburbs around Colombo, much disruption was caused to civil life by flash floods where heavy nonstop rains for 24 hours would take many days to recede.
Loss of mobility is a loss of productivity. The transportation of goods, people and distribution of services reported significant declines. People take some time to recover from such disasters and resume normalcy. More often, disaster relief takes time to be allocated. It may be that the neediest may not receive it or the relief grant will be insufficient to recover the loss.
Due to these reasons, productivity losses have been beyond control. Severe climate change is evident in productivity losses in agriculture, exports, as well as service sectors that form a major part of national production.
To a certain extent, the number of working days can make a difference in productivity. There is a common belief that Sri Lanka gets over double the average number of holidays a country gets and accordingly, Sri Lankans work on fewer days. Taking an independent view on a broader angle, there are some factors including demographic factors that limit the productivity of our country.
One reason is modes of transportation, the amount of time lost on the road on the way to work and employee fatigue due to such reasons. To travel 10 kilometres one way on the road takes an average of at least one hour. Those who travel by rail can save time on the road but then again, there is a matter of employee exhaustion due to the overcrowding of trains. There are no plans to connect the rail and bus networks and therefore, much time is lost on roads.
Another fact is culture and lifestyles – employees who are women carry household duties more than men and we hardly hear about the sharing of duties when both spouses are employed. In the long run, although they are keen to serve, women have less chance of contributing productively than men as they bear the duties of cooking, cleaning and caregiving for children and elders.
Over to the authorities of transport and women’s affairs. Why not build the vision for Sri Lanka while also including similar firsthand information?
Strikes, riots and protests that take place in the country affect productivity other than the number of working days available. These are a drain on normal day-to-day life. Needless to say that civil disharmony has been taking place and the gravity of this has also been felt in recent years. Disruptions can be more harmful than zero performance and a loss in productivity. Furthermore, strikes and protests are driven by influencing the minds of people and employees.
This nature of change in outlook may not be favourable for the person, organisation and society at large. For if a productive employee or civilised person is aroused and transformed to be vicious, the possibility is that such mindsets are irreversible. Even a normal day can turn out to be disruptive. As such, these types of incidents can have cumulative effects and are harmful to the country both in the short and long runs.
It’s not the number of days but one’s outlook and approach to utilising time in a productive manner. The number of working days is not primarily a deciding factor as to whether people will work more efficiently and effectively.
A professional or an employee with a positive broad-minded outlook will know which tasks need to be handled, when, why and the what ifs. They are aware of the deadlines, timeframes and also limitations. This way, such employees decide on what approaches need to be taken to deliver a task productively within a specified timeframe. As such, I believe that there will be no difference with fewer holidays.
This won’t make a difference because we are lazy and we don’t work even when there are no holidays. Or will the people protest or strike and demand more days off because there will be less official holidays? I won’t be surprised if they do because Sri Lanka is becoming famous for strikes.