Several studies on workforce productivity, mental, social and family wellbeing globally and within India have shown that workers are more productive and efficient when they have adequate time to rest and recharge. In both public and private sectors, except for the government civil secretariat, J&K has now long been practising a six day work week. In the fast changing work context, wherein technology has changed the way we used to work quite drastically, it is high time J&K Govt considers a five day work week.
The case for a 5-day work week is strong for multiple reasons. The current six-day workweek in Jammu & Kashmir leaves little time for workers to engage in leisure activities, pursue personal interests, or spend quality time with their families. This is leading to stress, burnout, and a decline in overall well-being. When we look at individual mental, physical and family wellbeing of public and private sector workers today across J&K, it is clear that almost everyone is struggling. Stress is getting overwhelming. A five-day workweek would provide much-needed respite for workers, allowing them to recharge and return to work with renewed energy and focus.
There is ample evidence available to sugggest that the six-day workweek are straining family relationships, particularly for married couples and working mothers. With an extra day off, parents would have more time to care for their children, participate in family activities, and strengthen their bonds. This would contribute to a more harmonious and supportive home environment, benefiting the overall well-being of families.
There may still be a misconception at policy levels in both public and private sectors in J&K that a 5-day work week would be bad for work productivity and outputs. Studies have shown that extended working hours do not necessarily translate into increased productivity. In fact, workers who are overworked and fatigued tend to make more mistakes and have lower output. A five-day workweek would allow workers to rest and recharge, leading to improved focus, reduced errors, and ultimately, increased productivity.
When workers are well-rested and have a better work-life balance, they are less likely to take sick days. This reduced absenteeism would save businesses money on lost productivity and healthcare costs. Jammu & Kashmir faces challenges in attracting and retaining skilled workers. A five-day workweek would make the region a more attractive place to work.
Public servants in Jammu & Kashmir often face long and demanding work hours, which can affect their personal lives and overall well-being. A five-day workweek would allow them to better balance their professional and personal responsibilities, leading to a more effective and efficient public service.
In this backdrop, a five-day workweek would bring significant benefits to Jammu & Kashmir, addressing social, economic, governance, and energy concerns. By implementing this measure, the region can enhance the well-being of its workforce, boost productivity, attract talent, improve governance, promote sustainable practices, and contribute to a more harmonious and prosperous society.