I read about the survey that '1 in 5 employees in Singapore work 11 hours daily' and thought, “That doesn't sound right.” The survey also says 31% of Singapore employees worked for nine to eleven hours daily, and almost half of them took work home more than three times a week.
However like most surveys, it’s not totally accurate. I have to say those numbers are underestimating the problem.
The main thing is that although these are the “official” work time of Singaporeans, these are just a drop in the bucket compare to the real time Singaporeans put in at work. I will give you an example; ME!
I’m supposed to work 8 to 8 and a half hours daily depending on my shift. Do I work just these hours? No, because I have overtime at least once a week. Do I claim overtime for these extra hours? No, because the extra hours are not officially overtime but considered “time-off” which I can claim later. Can I claim these “time-off”? No, because the office is short of people and they require people to do extra work. If they need people to do extra work, quite naturally you cannot claim your “time-off”.
These “time-off” are not record officially as overtime and they are also not part of my working time. They are, like I said earlier, just unofficial time at the office where I put in extra work. I have over 17 hours of time-off on my record right not. I have no idea when I can claim these hours, and I’m not alone. Almost all of my colleagues are in the same boat.
So I can easily say the survey showing '1 in 5 employees in Singapore work 11 hours daily' is wrong. The real hours are a lot higher than that!