Five-day week for Sikkim govt staff, does it work?

Prem Singh Tamang | Photo: AFP

The new chief minister of Sikkim Prem Singh Tamang announced a five-day working week for all the state government employees soon after swearing in on Monday.

He stated that this new measure has been taken to ensure that government officials find sufficient time to tend to their health and their families.

“We have fulfilled one of our election promises to reduce the working week for government employees from six days earlier to five days,” he reportedly said after his meeting with all the senior government officials.

Recent research work has shown that shorter working days increase productivity by reducing the number of mental and physical illnesses, absenteeism, worker turnover and early retirement. In countries like Germany, where shorter working hours are set, the productivity of workers are found to be higher than countries like Mexico and Greece where longer hours of work are allotted.

These statistics confirm that working hours and productivity have absolutely no positive correlation. Taking these research conclusions into consideration, this new step taken by Tamang, who is better known as P S Golay, will not only be a relief for the government workers but will also help the state reduce its expenses and increase its efficiency.

Tamang's party Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) won the recent Assembly election. It edged former chief minister Pawan Kumar Chamling's Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) in the polls held alongside the Lok Sabha elections.

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