Although the employees of almost all government offices are fuming over the PML-N government’s decision to cancel Saturday’s weekly off, yet the staff members of banks have taken it more seriously. They have started organizing peaceful protests in major cities against the new official liability as they are finding it very difficult to re-adjust their routine life according to new working schedule. The bankers argue that their work load is already enormous because they cannot leave their offices unless all transactions are registered and accounts are closed on a daily basis, which takes 12 to 14 hours per day a week. On the other hand, the public at large find it more convenient as they have the luxury to visit banks or other offices six days a week. They often complain that it takes too much time for customers to wait as people sitting behind the bank counters work too slow. Working six days of banks in the country will provide a much needed relief to the customers. Traditionally, it is believed that a 5-day work week is more productive. A 6-day work week stresses people out and doesn’t give them enough time to spend with their families. But the debate between a five-day week and a six-day work week has no right answers. It depends on a lot of other factors like fixed vs. variable hours, recreation and childcare facilities available at work, the option to work from home, etc. The government needed to conduct a little research and study the pros and cons of its decision before enforcing the decision all at once. All offices do not work on same lines as the pattern of working is different in various organizations and departments.
At a time when digitalization is becoming pervasive and revolutionary changes are being made in traditional office routines, the government in Pakistan is reverting to opening offices from five to six days a week with a reason that it would make the staff work more and bring respite for the general public. In fact, the focus should be the achievement of targets. Unless the standard of services is improved, and productive working is ensured, even the seven days working will bring no change. Rather the decision will create resentment among the staff and prove wastage of government resources as the weekly holiday of Saturday was introduced to save energy being used at offices. So, there is a need to use innovative methods and apply new technology tools for easing the lives of general public. Internet banking is an easy solution, which can save many from the hassle of personally visiting banks. The method can be applied on other services being offered by various departments. Already, the technology boom has started and many services have been converted to digital mode, which has ended office related necessities like attending offices from 9 to 5. In fact, the achievement of goals should be the real aim of opening any office and not the duration of working days.