Majority of Singaporeans Continue to Work Overtime, Despite MOM’s Recommended Limit

June 1, 20168:00 am3325 views

Work-life balance seems to be the trending topic of recent times yet most Singaporeans are still working many hours of overtime and are willing to work even more, said recruitment firm Randstad.

According to the Randstad Award 2016 research results, despite the Ministry of Manpower’s recommended limit of 44 working hours per week, a majority of Singaporeans continue to work overtime.

Nearly half of all Singaporean workers (47%) reported working more than the stipulated 44 hours. More than half of men (52%) stated that they work more than 44 hours a week, compared to a slightly lower 41% of women.

The prospect of making more money is the primary motivational aspect for employees in Singapore to work more, with 80% of respondents highlighting it as a major factor. Career progression and personal development were ranked second and third with a lower 41% and 33% respectively.

What motivates Singapore employees to work more? 

For those hoping to work less, 67% wanted to have more free time to chase personal endeavours whilst 66% stated they hoped for better work-life balance. Family was also an important factor for those who wished to work less; 40% said they wanted to work fewer hours to be able to spend more time with their children.

What Motivates Singapore Employees to Work Less? 

Work-life balance has continued to gain importance amongst Singaporean employees, moving up from 32% to 57% between 2012 and 2016 to take the second spot in the Randstad Award Top 10 Attractiveness Factors.

See: Singaporean Employees Refrain from Submitting an Average of US$ 414 Annually to Employers

Top 5 most important factors for choosing an employer: 2012 – 2016
SG working long hoursSource: Singapore Randstad Award 2012-2016

With work-life balance becoming a major consideration, the importance Singaporeans place on flexible work schedules and telecommuting has become quite high. 64% of employees polled stated that they would prefer some kind of variable work schedule.

Millennials, aged between 18 and 24, came out as the demographic with the strongest preference, with 71% opting for a flexible work schedule.

Telecommuting was also popular amongst Singaporean employees with 73% noting that they would like to be able to work remotely at least part of the time. The value of going to the workplace, however, was still not lost on the respondents as only 9% highlighted a preference to work remotely every workday.

Jaya Dass, Country Director of Randstad Singapore said, “It’s interesting to see that despite the growing importance of work-life balance, Singaporeans are still willing to sacrifice it for better pay and career progression. This could be representative of the current uncertain economic environment leading to employees wanting to work even harder than before. I expect to see the willingness to work overtime diminish in the longer term with a more bullish global and local economy.”

The Randstad Award is based on the outcome of the world’s largest survey into employer branding and is the only award which is truly representing “the people’s choice”. This extensive research surveys over 200,000+ respondents across different age groups, genders and educational levels, and covers 75% of the global economy.

Also read: Technology is on the Top of Mind for Singapore Employees. Is it for Better or for Worse?

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