Still working at 10.00 p.m.? You need to read this, for you might not be “working”

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Try this: At 9.30 p.m, go to your Facebook wall and type: “Who’s still in the office working now?” See how many replies you get. Yes, replies—not just one or no reply. If you’re near my age, I’m sure there should be at least three (and many others who didn’t see your post).

Have we, as Singaporeans, worked too hard?

While this is a general view, it’s almost uncommon for someone to say this: “In my XX months in this company, I’ve never worked beyond office hours before.” In some other countries, working OT is considered to be inefficient. However, in Singapore, it seems to be the norm. Have you ever wondered why?

I once watched a documentary about working hours. South Korea employees have one of the crazy working hours, so the host went there and spoke to the people. Guess what most said?

“I can’t leave before my boss leave.”

“Everyone is staying. If I go off on time, it won’t be nice.”

“My supervisor’s face will be black if I leave on time.”

“My performance depends on what time I leave.”

Huh?

Interestingly, none of them mentioned anything about workload. Maybe there’s one that is edited off, or I’ve missed out, but that’s not the point. The point is simple: Have we really stayed back in work to work, or was it for a promotion?

Obviously I’ve got no rights, nor experience, to judge. However, I do have friends who stayed back once in a blue moon and told me this: “You know, I’ve a colleague who stayed back late every evening, but every time, he just smoked and do nothing…”

No, no, not judging. But haven’t you seen someone like that before?

And what’s worse? We hear complaints—about long working hours. People all over Singaporean swore over the working hours. While many are legit, some are like the example before. Say what?!


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