Looking back on the transition from five days to four


By Salama Almahri

UNIVERSITY CITY, SHARJAH – Two years after the American University of Sharjah transitioned to a four-day work schedule, students and faculty say the move had both benefits and drawbacks.

AUS followed the rest of Sharjah in January 2022 in moving from a five-day to a four-day work week, a local government initiative.

Interviewed in February, Registrar Lynda Ataya recalled that the transition went smoothly. She added the change happened during a three-week break that facilitated an easy shift into the new plan.  

Students interviewed about the change recalled it as an interesting time.

“Everyone was very excited,” said Sameera Khan, an environmental science major, “as a three-day weekend means more time to rest and recover.” 

She said the four-day work schedule allows her to split the weekend effectively into one day of rest and two days of adhering to deadlines. 

However, adapting to an hour and 15 minutes of condensed labs and courses was slightly challenging, Khan said. 

Dana Alrowaih, an English language and literature major, said the new schedule gave her time to breathe and possibly dedicate some time for study and the rest for relaxing and regaining her energy back. She added that having the longer classes is troublesome but “it makes sense as the days of the week decreased.”

It was challenging for faculty as well. 

According to Sana Sayed, a senior instructor in the English department, keeping students focused during a 75-minute lecture was difficult compared to the previous 50-minute classes. 

“I had to focus on scaffolding the class to where there’s a healthy balance of activities and them hearing me talk,” she said. 

Sayed added that she enjoyed utilizing the three-day weekend to work on her personal endeavors outside of university work.