This month, most Malaysians will enjoy public holidays for three successive Mondays. That translates into prolonged weekends. For most employees, that’s good news as they get more time off from work. For employers, this translates into dipped productivity, especially if work piles up as the year starts to draw to a close.
As it is, Malaysia has one of the highest number of public holidays in the world, thanks to the diverse cultures of its people. On the one hand, public holidays allow workers to take a break and return to work more refreshed, and hopefully with increased productivity.
On the other hand, too many public holidays, especially if they are too close to each other can be disruptive. In a globalised economy where we compete not just within our borders, but with companies from abroad, even the slightest edge can make a difference in business.
This is why it’s important we should not look beyond the obvious when it comes to public holidays. Employees who relish the idea of prolonged breaks should be mindful that if productivity falls, they too would be at the losing end when it comes to remunerations and bonuses. For employers, a prolonged break may not necessarily be a bad thing if employees return to work with renewed vigour.