Our Marketing Manager, Maks is currently experiencing Ramadan in lockdown!
Here are his tips on how organisations can support employees who are participating in Ramadan.
As we approach the halfway mark of Ramadan, many Muslims around the world would have adjusted to their daily hours of fasting. Although Ramadan is primarily associated with fasting between sunrise and sunset, it involves a lot more than no eating or drinking.
It involves extra-long prayers throughout the night, an increased emphasis on patience, self-reflection, and being charitable.
With Mosques remaining closed and celebrations suspended, how can employers support their employees who are participating in Ramadan during the coronavirus pandemic?
For those in 9-5 roles, providing flexible working options can be very beneficial. Although many of us have already transitioned to remote working, it is sensible to allow those who are fasting to work from home, especially if their job permits it.
By allowing employees to work from home they are able to avoid the commute and it also allows them to use their breaks to engage in extra worship, which is normal during Ramadan.
Working from home might not always be possible, particularly for those who work shifts. If this is the case, it is worth considering other solutions, like providing the opportunity to exchange shifts or temporarily adjusting working hours.
This might just be the most significant thing employers can do for those fasting during the month of Ramadan. It is important to educate managers and employees of the importance of Ramadan as it ensures that it is respected throughout the organisation.
You might want to consider sharing information in a way that suits your workplace and your employees. This might be via a policy that sets certain guidelines, in a lunch and learn session that educates employees, or in a more casual setting.
We use Mo to create awareness and celebrate the beginning of Ramadan, as seen below!
Due to the commitment of extra-long prayers throughout the night, those who are participating in Ramadan might be awake up until dawn as this would be their last meal before fasting. So, rescheduling morning meetings later on in the day allows them to get some extra rest, become mentally ready, and it also ensurer higher levels of concentration.
Asking someone that is fasting to attend a Friday drink, either physically or remotely, is also quite demanding and might not be the most comfortable experience for them. Whilst it is important to involve, rather than exclude these employees, it is important to understand and empathise with them if they do not wish to attend.
Moreover, the likelihood of fatigue increases throughout the day and throughout the length of Ramadan, so encouraging and offering regular breaks is also especially important, particularly for those who are unable to work from home.
Ramadan is a time when Muslims may wish to pray more than they usually do. For employees that are unable to work from home, you may wish to offer a small space where they are able to perform prayer, as mosques are currently closed to the public.
When Mosques are open, you may also allow them to visit a local mosque during their breaks, and allow for more travelling time.
It’s likely that managers may receive more annual leave requests during Ramadan, which can impact business operations. Additionally, as Ramadan falls within the early Summer months, there may already be a higher number of annual leave requests from other employees.
As Eid is defined by the sighting of a new moon, managers may receive holiday requests without much notice.
It is important to take this into consideration when approving or rejecting holiday requests and building some flexibility into the holiday allowance and booking system.
We really appreciate this insight from Maks and hope it is useful for you both for now and the future.
If you would like to learn more about how Mo can support your employees and give you a platform to create awareness for things like Ramadan, let’s talk.