A 24-hour economy for Ghana; To do or not to do?
The idea of a 24-hour economy has grown significantly in popularity and attention in recent days. The aim behind this notion is to provide people with more flexibility in their work schedules so they may more efficiently fulfil their duties, both personal and professional.
Furthermore, a 24-hour economy can boost industry and commercial productivity, which has numerous advantages for both workers and customers. Although some essential industries, like as healthcare and security services (military, police, etc.), operate around the clock, it would be wonderful to extend this to most of Ghana's economic sectors.
The greater flexibility that a 24-hour economy offers to people is one of its main benefits. Many find it difficult to work during regular business hours due to obligations they have outside of work, such as caring for their elderly relatives or children. Organizations can provide alternate shifts in a 24-hour economy, enabling people to select working hours that best fit their requirements and unique situations. This flexibility can significantly enhance general well-being and work-life balance.
Furthermore, a 24-hour economy has the potential to greatly improve industry and commercial productivity. Businesses can guarantee optimal production and reduce downtime with continuous operations. Better customer service, more efficient operations, and quicker turnaround times can result from this continuous workflow. A 24-hour economy can be especially advantageous for sectors like manufacturing, shipping, and healthcare since it allows them to meet the needs of their consumers and clients at all times.
A prominent benefit of a 24-hour economy is the increase in employment prospects. The need for people to cover night and early morning jobs will increase as the economy develops to incorporate non-traditional working hours. This can be particularly helpful in lowering unemployment rates and providing job opportunities to people who would find it difficult to work during regular business hours. It gives more people the opportunity to enter the workforce, increasing the size of the labour force and enhancing overall economic stability. That being said, decision-makers need to take this policy's financial viability very seriously.
In addition, a 24-hour economy can effectively satisfy a broad spectrum of consumer demands. Among other essential services, people may require healthcare facilities and transportation at any time. In a 24-hour economy, these services might be provided continuously, ensuring that individuals have access to these vital resources whenever they need them. It is also possible for convenience stores and online retailers to stay open later than usual, allowing customers to buy goods and services whenever it is most convenient for them.
However, it's critical to recognize the drawbacks of a 24-hour economy. Long work hours, especially when working nights, can interfere with personal and family time and make people feel more stressed and exhausted. Constantly having to work erratic hours can be detrimental to general well-being and cause stress in family dynamics. When one must be available at irregular hours, it becomes difficult to strike a balance between business and personal life.
Extended working hours or prolonged night shifts can also be harmful to one's health. An increased risk of chronic diseases, weariness, and insomnia are just a few of the health issues that can result from disturbed sleep habits. There can be substantial disruptions to the body's circadian cycle, which can impact both mental and physical health. Employers need to take action to reduce these health risks by giving workers proper downtime, promoting a good work-life balance, and providing support services.
Adding to these personal difficulties, a 24-hour economy may have detrimental societal effects. Opportunities for social connection may decrease when people work when others are having fun or spending time with their families. This may result in fewer ties within the community and a feeling of loneliness among those who work irregular hours. It is important to put policies in place that guarantee employees have time for social interaction and connection, even with varying work hours.
Finally, it's critical to keep in mind that not everyone may be able or willing to work outside of regular business hours. In a 24-hour economy, people with duties to their families, health, or personal lives would find it challenging to find work. This may lead to additional inequalities between various social groups and an unequal allocation of economic gains. Regardless of a person's unique situation, policies should be in place to provide equitable and inclusive access to work opportunities.
In general, a 24-hour economy has several benefits, such as more job opportunities, better access to goods and services, more efficiency for firms, and greater flexibility for individuals, and traffic in town may be lessened. But it's important to take into account and deal with any potential negative effects, like elevated stress, disturbed sleep cycles, less social engagement, and uneven income distribution.
Ghanaians stand to gain much more from the policy than lose. Since a 24-hour economy has the potential to genuinely benefit everyone and sustain a vibrant society by implementing policies that promote workers' well-being and guarantee fair access to job opportunities.