Work Culture, Productivity and Efficiency in GCC Countries
GCC Work Culture
Work Culture, Productivity and Efficiency in GCC
I would like to start with extreme “The Culture is not to work, so there is no calculation of productivity and efficiency.” This is maxim but closer to the reality.
Timing – Usual timing of the government offices is 7 am to 1 pm. Private sector work from 8 am to 3 pm, some of them works till 4 pm also. In Qatar and also in Bahrain companies work in two shifts 8 to 1 and 4 to 7. Some of them start from 9 am also.
Even though timing is from 7 am in government offices but you will find very few people at that time, even though government has implemented automatic finger print attendance system but result is not much. The disciplinary actions on the national are rare or non-existent so this is going on. The maximum attendance is from 9 am to 12 noon. So un officially one can consider these as working hours in government sector.
Ramadan Timing – In Ramadan (Month of Fasting) the timings are half of the regular timings. Government works from 9 am to 12 noon and private sector works from 9 am or 10 am to 2 pm or 3 pm not more than five years.
This is culture is of Guahva (local hot drink), tea and coffee. There is no official break for drink or food. The light drinks are continuously served on the working tables and so is efficiency. The passes on the day finish. As clock approaches 12, get ready , time to go. In comparison to men, women are more sincere and hard working.
“Taal Bukara” – Come tomorrow is very important phrase, used very often when you try to make them work. It is used if there is mistake or no mistake. The rules are dependent upon the one who sitting on the counter, if the person is gentle man then yes it will be done if all documentation is correct. It will be done and asked to come tomorrow if it is not. Many times, it may be two or three times you may have to go to finish the work, if there is change in person handling file then, all probability something may come out and will be asked to come tomorrow.
“Vastaa” – This literally means connection. If you have connection then your work is done. The important is the work, needs higher Vastaa. There are touts and agents who get you Vastaa. They promise you to get it done and yes it is done. Even in many times this is one of the core reasons of many government and legal problems.
Working Week - Sunday to Thursday is working week and Friday, Saturday is holiday. Saudi Arabia has Thursday and Friday as off. Five days week is across the GCC.
Holidays – There are 13 annual holidays every years, varies country to country 1 or 2 days. Holidays are connected with weekend. So there are three long holidays, which are 3 day connected with week end. If there is only one working day in week then whole week is declared off and staff can enjoy continuous 9 days including two weekends.
National Day , Eid al Fitr( Ramdan Eid) and Eid al Azha ( Bakari Eid, Hajj Time) are three long holiday for each of the 3 to 4 days of holidays are declared. New Year day’s Islamic and Roman, Eid e Milad (Prophets Birth Day), Eid Esra wal Meraj.
Annual Leave – 30 days annual leave is given to the employees; senior employees can get 35 to 40days depending upon their contract, seniority and continuous service.
Summer is season of vacation – June, July and August are considered as summer. Schools are closed for vacation. Parliament is on vacation and most of the expatriate’s like to travel to their home countries. These three months are slow, everything become very slow.
Sick Leave – 15 days fully paid sick leave, then ¾ paid for 10 days and then 10 days of ½ paid, 10 days of ¼ paid leave. This is very important privilege all workers had.
Maternity Leave – 70 days of maternity leave is legally allowed. It can be taken before or after the delivery as per requirement.
Some special privileges for female employees – Facility of crèche and 2 hour break every day for feeding of the baby after delivery till 1 year.
Productivity and Efficiency – Because of work culture productivity is low, there are very opportunities for training for efforts to improve efficiency are lacking.