KUALA LUMPUR: The government should consider reducing daily work hours for employees to increase productivity and counter burn out.
The Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) is of the opinion that 48-hour work week allocated within the law is deemed to be ‘too long’ as compared to neighbouring countries.
MTUC secretary-general, N. Gopal Kishnan opined longer working hours would negatively impact employees in the long run and eventually reduce productivity.
“When we talk about productivity, we believe the six-hour workday would benefit not only on the productivity aspect.If the worker gets enough rest, they would return the next day, reinvigorated and ready to give their best at work,” said Gopal.
He added several neighbouring countries in Southeast Asia have reduced the maximum working hours in a week to 40 compared to 48 a week, currently provided within the law in Malaysia.
“Although I do agree, the changes could not be made overnight to six hours daily.
“However, the government can take steps towards that in ensuring that the people are ready for it when its implemented,” said Gopal to Astro AWANI during an exclusive interview at MTUC headquarters in Subang Jaya, Selangor recently.
He also touched on Malaysia’s aspirations to be a developed nation by the year 2020.
“If we want to achieve developed nation status, we have to compare our productivity levels to the other countries. Therefore, I think the time is right for the government to consider reducing the daily working hours so that it will benefit the workers in the long run,” he concluded.
Sweden has shifted towards a six-hour working day in its bid to increase productivity and the move has since received positive outcome.
The experiment was done on a nursing home where the nurses working there has seen a 20 percent increase in happiness since the change was made.
It was reported that the likelihood of workers taking sick leave has been halved during the length of the experiment.