Labour Day Special: 5 Facts About Singapore’s Working Class

As Singapore’s workforce immerse in the long weekend to loosen up their stress at work, Seedly took a quick glance at some of the statistics of our workforce in celebration to Labour Day.

We Spend 1/3 Of Our Time Working

” Live to work, don’t work to live.”

As much as the quote above sounds like the normal thing to do, Singaporeans may not have taken it into consideration when they work. In some of our findings, Singaporeans are living to work instead.

Singaporeans spend close to 105.7 days annually at work yearly. This makes up about one-third of our time. In fact, some surveys see Singaporeans working the longest hour in the world, beating countries such as Taiwan.

Long Working Hours An Obstacle to Family Time 

Close to 50% of Singaporeans felt that long working hours prevented them from spending more time with their loved ones.

In fact, 1 in 10 Singaporeans spends less than 6 hours every week with their immediate family despite family being the top priority for most Singaporeans.

An interesting point to note is that even if one of family member decides to put in a little effort to decrease his working hours for family time, the results may not be as expected. This is due to the fact that the availability for more family time is still subjected to the working and schooling hours of the rest of the family members, which makes family time even more precious.

Exercising Too Little

Singapore’s working class is exercising 36 minutes less a week compared to the regional average. Despite our longer life expectancy, we might be spending the later part of our lives in poor health.

Unknown to many, there is a correlation between hours spent exercising and your paycheque. In a study published in the June issue of the Journal of Labor Research, researchers have found that employees who regularly exercise earn 9% more than their lazier counterparts.

We just gave you the extra motivation to keep fit.

Minimum Retirement Plan

Despite being the most hardworking workers in the region, Singaporeans are not making their money work for them.

According to a survey by Nielsen, 1 in 3 Singaporeans are not planning for their retirement. 66% of Singapore’s retirees wished they had started their retirement planning earlier, despite working their lives away.

The first step towards planning for retirement will be to watch your expenses closely and save more. Here’s a free tool we recommend to help you do so.

Long Working Hours Does Not Equate Productivity

Well, we said it.

We understand that some bosses might be obsessed pegging the number of hours one stays in the office with how hardworking a certain employee is. This is why employees feel the need to ” work late”.

Studies, however, indicate otherwise. According to a survey by the Economist, it seems that more productive—and, consequently, better-paid—workers put in less time at the office. The graph below shows the relationship between productivity (GDP per hour worked) and annual working hours:

source: The Economist

We just provided you with a good reason to head home on time after work. Do however, kindly leave Seedly out of the picture when presenting such argument with your boss.


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