UAE: e& pilots four-day workweek, employees to get Fridays off

The optional four-day workweek gives its employees flexibility, encourages greater productivity and work-life balance

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Published: Thu 30 Nov 2023, 5:25 PM

Last updated: Thu 30 Nov 2023, 10:43 PM

A four-day workweek has been introduced for employees across three departments at e& in the UAE, becoming the first technology company to embrace a global call for workplace flexibility.

Recognising that employee engagement and well-being are directly linked to productivity and innovation, the company has launched this pilot to continue to be at the forefront of future workplace policies and models.

Dena Almansoori, Group Chief Human Resources Officer at e&, said: “We are thrilled to pilot this initiative. Just as we continuously innovate in our products and services, we also recognise the need to modernise workplace strategies. What may have worked in the past may not be suitable for the future.

“Therefore, it is crucial to challenge norms, learn through experimentation, and adapt our work policies to create a more efficient, productive, and fulfilling environment for our teams and businesses to thrive.”

e& employees who opt-in to the pilot will be entitled to a three-day weekend from Friday to Sunday.

The company already operates a hybrid workplace with employees working remotely a couple of days a week. One of those days being Fridays, or as the e& team calls it 'Green Fridays' to focus on sustainability by reducing energy consumption in offices and carbon emissions through transportation.

Almansoori added: “We believe that by putting the well-being of our employees first, we are laying the foundations for a more sustainable future. Also, by reducing travel times and minimising resource consumption, we are reflecting the UAE's ambition to well-being and sustainability, while supporting e&’s commitment to achieving net zero emissions in scope 1 and 2 by 2030.”

The introduction of the pilot is in line with the UAE Federal Government's recent announcement encouraging a four-day workweek for government employees. It reflects the successful results seen in Sharjah, which reported a 90 per cent increase in job performance, happiness and mental health following the introduction of the four-day workweek in Sharjah in 2022.

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