More and more, work-life balance seems like a pipe dream for most employees. This seems especially apparent among the Singapore workforce who’s been described by other countries as “emotionless.”
Living in Singapore without a job isn’t only impossible but also an abomination. There are reasons why Singaporeans work so hard, which we’ll discuss in today’s post.
Singaporeans are required to work 44 hours per week
Singapore is known to have one of the world’s longest work hours. There’s a legal standard of 44 hours per work week, with millennial Singaporeans sometimes clocking in at 48 hours per week!
It’s also why coworking spaces in Singapore are becoming more popular by the minute. People can focus on the work at hand without being in a rigid and traditional corporate setup.
Many Singaporeans have stated that they feel as if doing overtime work is a cultural obligation. Longer workweeks and workdays seem to be expected of a typical Singaporean worker (more on this in a bit).
Singapore is the second most competitive country in the world
You’ll probably have an idea of the kind of motivation Singaporeans have if you read our guide on Singapore education statistics. By 2020, the country’s literacy rate for students 15 years old and up was a whopping 97.1%.
Small wonder, since the Singapore government spends nearly 20% of its national budget on education. Most working Singaporeans feel that working hard is a form of giving back to their country for their high-quality education.
But being the second most competitive country in the world has its ups and downs. High-income Singaporeans can afford to buy businesses to expand their wealth, but it also means putting in extra hours to make this possible.
Singaporeans are required to save via a compulsory savings scheme
Singapore’s Central Provident Fund is a compulsory savings scheme for its citizens. It’s to help Singaporeans prepare early for retirement planning and not rely on expensive health and pension plans in the future.
Depending on their income, Singaporeans are expected to contribute up to 37% of their wages to the CPF. The percentage depends on the employee’s age group, wage band, citizenship status, and other factors.
So while other nations might think that Singaporeans are rich for enjoying a higher standard of living, there are taxes and contributions required to make this a reality.
Singapore’s international standing influences its workforce
Remember a few paragraphs up when we mentioned working extra hard as something of a cultural obligation?
A lot of working Singaporeans feel that putting in extra hours beyond what they’re contractually expected to do is a reflection of Singapore’s outstanding reputation. After all, Singapore is a first-world country arguably because its people are its best resources.
So it’s not so uncommon to see someone who already has a stable job take on part-time jobs to augment their savings. Those with cars can also take on delivery driver jobs to help pay for expensive vehicles that they bought in Singapore.