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Iran Sets 6 a.m. Start Time for State Workers to Save Energy

TEHRAN, IRAN — Iran has changed government workers’ office hours in the summer to try to reduce energy consumption, but media reports say some employees are unhappy with the early start.

The new working hours for the next three months, from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m., came into effect this week. They are intended to address problems the country faces during the heat of the summer when power consumption peaks.

Many people are said to be struggling to adapt to the new start time, however.

The revised summer hours came about after parliament approved a new law at the start of the Iranian calendar year in March 2023, mandating that the government no longer observe daylight saving time.

To be at the office by 6 means that some employees, especially those who commute long distances, must wake at 5 or even 4 in the morning.

“This is causing many problems for parents who need to take young kids to primary school or kindergarten,” government employee Morteza told Agence France-Presse.

“Even though it’s been just a couple of days since the new working hours began, families like ours are really struggling to cope,” the 44-year-old father of three added.

While the new working regime applies to government employees, those in the private sector generally start at around 9 a.m., meaning they have less time for such chores as banking.

“Banks will close at 1 p.m., which is my peak time at work, so my transactions will have to be delayed to tomorrow or the next day,” Bahman Eshghi, secretary-general of the Tehran Chamber of Commerce, told the Sazandegi daily.

“The biological clock should not be disrupted with invented measures, as this can reduce efficiency at work,” he added.

Under the new scheme, government employees work one hour less a day than what is enshrined in the law. But they are being asked to make up that hour through remote working — a solution parliament has rejected as “illegal.”

Source: Voice of America