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working Hours in singapore

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c_hari_c
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working Hours in singapore

Postby c_hari_c » Wed, 10 Sep 2008 11:21 pm

Hi,
I am an Indian national currently working in US for the past 6 years and thinking of moving closer to my home country and Singapore seems to be a nice option. However I heard that the work load is generally huge in Singapore compared to US and that we have to work long hours. Is that true? There may be some exceptions to the rule but please post your responses what you think.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 11 Sep 2008 9:27 am

Most work a 44 hour week. Although the 40 hours week is getting more and more prevalent. Having said that, a lot of companies work 5.5 day weeks to to the 44 hours (half day on Saturdays). other load up the extra 4 hours during Mon-Fri. Most companies do not pay for lunch hour so you don't work a 9 to 5 job but 9 to 6 with the hours for lunch being on your own time. Also, Local SME owners "think" that by seeing staff working till late that they are getting their money's worth. This leads to the local staff working later and later trying to gain favour with the bosses. While western bosses, like myself, tend to worry about any staff that is not able to get their work done in the allotted time. (maybe they are inefficient or in deeper than they are capable of handling). So, work/life balances here are not what they are in the US but it has been getting some attention in the past two years or so, but the majority of companies have no work/life balance programs at all.

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Postby andy21 » Thu, 11 Sep 2008 11:50 am

So true SMS, without firsthand experience, one has no idea how many local employees are terrified of leaving the office while the 'boss' is still around just as to avoid being seen as lazy or unmotivated.

And it's not just the SMEs, it's almost everywhere.

It's part of the whole 'wayang' (or pretend) culture that's so deeply ingrained in the collective pschye of the people here.

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Postby boffenl » Thu, 11 Sep 2008 1:36 pm

I do think it's getting a bit better--especially if we don't fall into the same bad habits of our native colleagues! In the beginning I did wait around until after 6pm--but then realized--HEY, they're paying me for 9-6 and sure enough no more money coming for staying and warming my seat. My younger colleagues--esp. those with children--also keep to the 9-6 schedule, some even leave earlier to catch busses home.

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Postby RULDS » Thu, 11 Sep 2008 5:06 pm

People work very long hours here. I am always the first one to leave at around 6:30 or 7. At first, I was timid.....now I don't care.

If people (and the boss) want to work till 9pm. Go right ahead. I'll think about you while I'm at home.

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Postby c_hari_c » Fri, 12 Sep 2008 5:59 am

I think we should be able to leave on time once we are done with our tasks for the day so that we can spend time with the family. I am fine working 45 hours per week but I cannot imagine a situation where I come in at 9 in the morning and go home at 9 at night. On deadline days, its ok but I hope that's not the situation every day.

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Postby Hithnar » Fri, 12 Sep 2008 1:17 pm

I was wondering, is it acceptable to use the "lunch hour" to get off work a hour earlier? Maybe not every day, but like twice a week or so? In my former job, that was a regular thing to do, but that was not in Singapore ;)

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Postby Thaiclan » Fri, 12 Sep 2008 5:33 pm

Although the OP is coming from the US so it wont be as bad a contrast as us Europeans. When I was working in the UK my firm seconded some US staff over for 6 months and they couldn't believe how "lax" our working hours were, not to mention our "starting" 5 weeks holiday, back in the US they start on just 2 weeks!

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Postby krptykcookies » Fri, 12 Sep 2008 9:35 pm

RULDS wrote:People work very long hours here. I am always the first one to leave at around 6:30 or 7. At first, I was timid.....now I don't care.

If people (and the boss) want to work till 9pm. Go right ahead. I'll think about you while I'm at home.


That's so cool ...! When I first started working in SG I noticed that employees here would stay back at least 1 hour after the official working hour. However I also noticed that it is not necessary that those who stay beyond the official working hour is an efficient or hard worker. Most of the time it's just to 'show off'.

I wasn't used to this initially and managed to 'stick around' with this staying back beyond the official working hour thingy for a while before I got fed-up and just left on the dot. I guess it's the British mentality - go in sharp 9 and leave sharp 6 - no more no less.
Cool as cool can be

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 12 Sep 2008 11:03 pm

While I don't expect my staff to work after hours, often they do, but ONLY when we are trying to get a bunch of Government Tenders off the ground at the same time. This puts a strain on the entire office for about 2 weeks but that's it. Normally 6:05 the only person in the office is myself and I'm usually out of their by 6:30 ~ 6:45 pm. Different work ethic. I always finish whatever I'm doing at that time rather than start wrapping up at 5:30 like most in order to walk out a 6. Aside from the Tenders though, I chase all the staff home.

Fortunately, while MY boss, the owner/MD is local he spent 22 years as a banker in the London Financial Market so is more Western in his thinking than most. And, in order to not make the "natives" feel like they have to stay to impress him, he leaves @ 5:45 every day.

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Postby Fallen Angel » Thu, 18 Sep 2008 3:47 am

Its also depend on what kind of field you are in. For example in designing line, employee(designer) must often stay overnight for their project. Camping in their office.. and worst of all, they are not paid for OT. The system is really terrible here. :mad:

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Postby KneejerkBobby » Fri, 19 Sep 2008 9:04 am

It depends hugely on what industry you work in, and whether you are in a western-style MNC or a local-style sweatshop.

But as always, working hours only matter if you aren't obviously delivering. If you're a top player you can get away with anything.

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Postby staryalley » Wed, 24 Sep 2008 4:08 pm

I think no matter what industry one is in, anything more than the 40 or 44 hours stated should be paid OT. Those evil bosses should start to wake up their idea. "Hello! We've got a life to live here..."

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 24 Sep 2008 5:53 pm

staryalley wrote:I think no matter what industry one is in, anything more than the 40 or 44 hours stated should be paid OT. Those evil bosses should start to wake up their idea. "Hello! We've got a life to live here..."


Well, at least we agree on this point! :wink: :lol:


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