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Will switching weekends bring a better work-life balance?

Amaeya Media
Dec 13, 2021
2 min read
Tales of the TradeThe Lighthouse ConversationsUAE
Photo by David Rodrigo

In a few weeks, your family back home will get to enjoy that video call with you knowing you aren't working either. The milestone announcement that the UAE public sector is switching to a Saturday-Sunday weekend, with a half-day on Friday, came as a surprise even though most of us have heard a rumour to that effect for years. This was followed by the Emirate of Sharjah announcing a four-day work week with a Friday-Sunday weekend.

Some of us might remember the transition over the years—from the half-day on Thursday-Friday weekend, to the Thursday-Friday weekends in the late 90's, and finally the switch to a Friday-Saturday weekend in 2006.

What are your thoughts about the change? We'd love to hear how your workplace is thinking about the new schedule.

This announcement also brings with it a formal week that is shorter than five days. The benefits of a shorter work week have long been theorized and we're going to be among the first to see if that shift pays off. Who knows, we might even become 'work-life balance' influencers for the rest of the world? Okay, maybe let's not.

Work-life balance?!

On one of the more popular episodes of Tales of the Trade, Akanksha Goel, founder of Socialize—which was in the process of joining the We Are Social network at the time—wondered about entrepreneurs who talk about going for runs at 5 a.m. while she was making sure the fonts were just right on yet another pitch deck.

The Mattar Farm's Hattem Mattar, on the other hand, boiled it down to knowing his priority sequence—father, fighter, farmer, flier—in that order. He notes "If I could live 24 hours a day, seven days a week for the rest of my life just being a dad. I'm that first." The episode is quite a deep dive into Hattem's journey from his childhood to becoming an entrepreneur, only getting in right on his fourth attempt.

Which brings us back to Simon Sinek's video about work-life balance, where he asks why we think of the two as competing things instead of supplementing parts that make you, you.

So the question to ask then is, how do you think about your work-life balance? And what does your place of work do to enable your balance, or get in the way of it?

We'll see you again next week!

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