New Study Shows That While S’poreans Work Long Hours, They’re Super Unproductive As Well

Image: Tuomas Lehtinen /

Singapore is one of the youngest nations that has transformed itself from a third-world country to the most expensive cities to live in.

Given our country’s only asset is the people, it is definitely a proud moment when Singapore is a first-world country. We have come a long way.

But at what cost?

The Today newspaper reported that Singapore productivity level is low based on The AIA Vitality Healthiest Workplace research.

Singapore lost an average of 54 days due to workers being absent or showing up to work but are unproductive.


How is this possible?

There are a lot of factors in play.

A key point mentioned is the overall health of the employers.

About half of the employees mentioned that they have problems sleeping and 7% of them have a BMI of 30 and above.


OT seems to be a common phenomenon in Singapore.

According to an article by The Straits Times, based on the data from the Manpower Ministry, Singaporeans clocked an average of 45.6 hours a week from January to September in 2016.

To add on, there is a high proportion of employees who do not consume at least five proportion of fruit and vegetables per day as compared to the U.K. counterpart (to make you feel better, their alcohol intake is much higher).

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We are also not engaging in enough physical exercise, with fewer than 40% clocking in at least 150 minutes a week.

When I say health, it also includes mental health.

Some of the responded reported symptoms of depression and the rate of bullying is almost three times of U.K.’s level—6.6%

So what do you do?

Ms Anna Smallfield, digital marketing manager of Announcer (an Aussie financial services business), part of the survey research mentioned that they offer programmes like flexible working hours and the option to work from home once a week.

That is not a bad idea actually (no wonder Australians are so laidback), you cut down commute time and actually get extra sleep.

A happy worker is a productive worker.

Apart from that, we can do things to improve our wellbeing. Eat more fruits and vegetables. Go for a jog during the weekends or you can even hit the gym with your friends.


And also know your rights an employee. You can check out the MOM (Ministry of Manpower) website for more details.

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