5 productive things to do with reduced working hours


Patchwork is a wonderful hobby that allows crafters to explore their creativity. Photo: Filepic

With the latest amendments to the Employment Act, workers can look forward to reduced working hours (from 48 to 45 hours) beginning Sept 1.

Deputy Human Resources Minister Datuk Awang Hashim said that the amendments are meant to protect the welfare of workers and offer flexibility in working hours, in line with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention.

“The amendments also introduce a new section on flexible work arrangements to allow employees to apply to employers to carry out work according to the suitability of working hours, working days or workplaces, including working from home for emergency situations such as the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said recently.

With this reduced working hours, it is beneficial to engage in healthy activities. Here are a few productive ways to foster a positive mindset and kick boredom away.

It is important to teach children to engage in volunteer work. Photo: FilepicIt is important to teach children to engage in volunteer work. Photo: Filepic

Volunteer work

If you’ve always wanted to contribute to charity, here’s your chance.

You can teach underprivileged children or spend your time volunteering for an environmental cause with the extra three hours. No effort is too small, so you’ll be amazed at how you can make a positive difference in the lives of others.

A 2018 study entitled "Volunteering and Health Benefits in General Adults: Cumulative Effects and Forms" in the BMC Public Health journal found that volunteering can contribute to better mental and physical health, life satisfaction and social wellbeing.

Declutter

Spend the additional time to reorganise and declutter your home. Photo: Andrew Wong Spend the additional time to reorganise and declutter your home. Photo: Andrew WongEveryone knows it is challenging to organise your home, especially when one must juggle between work and family commitments.

However, with the extra three hours, you can try to declutter and discard items that no longer spark joy. Start with a micro project like a cabinet and move to other things like stacks of photo albums and file cabinets. Eventually, these micro projects will lead to cumulative effects on the whole house.

Pick up a hobby

Ever wanted to pick up crafts like sewing, crochet or patchwork but just didn't have the time? Now, you can use the extra hours to revisit an old hobby or sign up for a course that catches your fancy. You can also turn to social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest to learn a new skill, including cooking, learning a new instrument or painting.

Simple but pleasurable tasks like gardening and harvesting vegetables help tighten the bond between children and their parents. Photo: Kelvin LohSimple but pleasurable tasks like gardening and harvesting vegetables help tighten the bond between children and their parents. Photo: Kelvin Loh

Gardening

The adage goes that you reap what you sow. So, what better way to use the extra hours than to plant vegetables? Gardening is fun and relaxing because it allows people to connect with nature. Plus, it’s good for the body and mind too.

For ways to plant vegetables in tiny spaces, read up on urban farming methods on the Internet. By planting vegetables at home, you can harvest fresh greens from your backyard while helping you to stretch your ringgit further.

Rope in your children to help out in the garden. It can further tighten the bond between children and parents.

Exercise

Exercise can help keep health issues at bay. Photo: Salina Osman Exercise can help keep health issues at bay. Photo: Salina OsmanThe 2019 National Health and Morbidity Survey revealed that 50.1% of our adult population were reported to be overweight (30.4%) or obese (19.7%).

Exercise is crucial as it boosts your metabolism and endurance. Keeping fit can reduce the risk of developing issues like diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular diseases too. Choose an exercise you enjoy, ranging from jogging, Zumba to boot camp. Find one that is sustainable and that meets your fitness goals.

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Reduced working hours , Craft , Hobbies , Exercise

   

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