SINGAPORE: Employed residents in Singapore worked 45.6 hours per week on average last year, a slight decline from the 47.4 hours per week a decade before.
In a written parliamentary reply, Acting Minister Tan Chuan-Jin said this reflects a rise in part-time employment.
He said studies have shown that excessively long working hours can have a negative impact on productivity, largely due to the adverse effects on workers’ physiological and psychological well-being.
Mr Tan was answering a question from Nominated MP Associate Professor Eugene Tan on the working hours clocked by Singaporean workers each year over the last 10 years, and whether the long hours play a role in low productivity level in the workforce.
Mr Tan added studies also show that more flexible working arrangements that better promote work-life harmony can help improve employees’ well-being and productivity.
He said the government has put in place a range of initiatives to promote flexible work arrangements, including the WorkPro programme, which encourages employers to build progressive workplaces, including implementing flexible work arrangements.
Mr Tan wrote: “We are heartened to see a rising trend of employers offering flexible work arrangements to their employees. In 2012, 41 per cent of establishments offered at least one form of work-life arrangement to their employees, up from 25 per cent in 2007.”
He added: “However, we believe employers can do more to offer flexible work arrangements to their employees, and we will continue to work closely with our tripartite partners to promote the adoption of flexible work arrangements and other progressive employment practices.”