Eid al Adha has now been announced and we can all look forward to several days away from work. This feast of the Sacrifice, or Greater Eid, is an important religious holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide.
It honours the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God. Luckily, God stepped in before the act took place, and provided a sheep instead. The word Eid is also derived from the word Id, meaning ‘festival’. The words Eid Mubarak can therefore be paraphrased into ‘may you enjoy a blessed festival’.
I received several supportive comments about my Wordsmith column last week, which looked at the need to regularise work timings and holidays so that productivity in Oman can be improved. I am also a great supporter of all of us taking periodic breaks from the day-to-day work tasks we do. I also believe taking a ‘time-out’ can help us to work more effectively.
Last Wednesday I was at dinner with a senior Omani businessman who told me how much more productive he was in the workplace after having enjoyed a four-day break away in foreign climes. The problems he was struggling with suddenly had easy solutions. A couple of days ago I went to chat to a friend at her workplace, who told me how much she was looking forward to Eid, to have a few days away from her daily work schedule and the e-mails that come with it. She really wants some time to recharge.
The question of how to improve productivity in the workplace is an interesting one. I read an article about how to stay fresh at work. The ten tips were to be passionate about what you are doing; enjoy learning; reward yourself; exercise; work when you are at work; don’t work when you are not; have outside interests; know your colleagues; use your lunch break and take your holiday.
All these recommendations look like the right things to be doing to get that work/life equation balanced. There are quite a few I need to improve on. I have promised myself some time away from work tasks during Eid, and the new regime following the ten tips starts immediately after!
For many Omanis, I know that Eid is an important time to spend with family, both close and extended. For others here, family members may be many miles away, but hopefully all of us can treat ourselves to a few days off, doing something different. Let’s all have an enjoyable and peaceful time over the holiday period. We can then get back to work with improved motivation to go that extra mile, both for our customers and also for all those others who depend upon us to do our jobs in the best way we can.
Nick lives and works in Muscat and the views expressed in this column are entirely his own. You can e-mail Nick at firstname.lastname@example.org