Is 9.5h workday normal in Singapore?
Little background here, Indonesian studied and worked in States moving to Singapore to work in banking.
HR told me work hours are 9-6.30 and fully in office every day with 1 hour break. That sounds really long to me coming from US work culture.
How do people cope with such long working hours without burning out?
- It’s so-so, still within normal range. Most companies are in the 40-44hr/week range It’s counted as 8.5hrs btw, as lunch hour not included.
Anyway, official hours are one thing, unofficial hours another thing. I’d be more interested in their unofficial hours.
- Yes, normal office working hours:
8am to 5.30pm/6pm
8.30am to 5.30pm/6pm
or for your case its 9am-6.30pm
Please be prepared before coming here lol, Asian work culture is the opposite of what you’ll experience in US.
- I used to work part time for a company in an ulu area, so almost all the time we will bring food in or eat the company ordered lunches in the pantry, so you could always find us there during breaks.
Once we converted 2 long tables to play table tennis. Just 1h5min into our break our manager stormed in the pantry, wanted to scold us and bring us back, then she spotted the general manager playing with us. He just told her to extend our break by half an hour, the look on her face was priceless.
- Previous job was 8.30am – 6pm and current job is 9am – 6pm officially. In both companies (couple of hundred headcount), the aircon turns off at 7pm.
Unofficially people come in late and leave early. I come in at 9.30am and leave at 5.30pm for my previous and current role. Even if I have to OT, I leave work at 5.30pm, have my dinner, bathe, relax and game awhile, before OT-ing a little bit.
I’m a developer.
But I have heard of people working in Japanese banks here coming in late and leaving early.
- I’m in the commercial design industry. Notorious for long hours, low pay and almost no progression.
Normal working hours for me are on average 930am-1030pm, on most Fridays I get to go back by 730pm, Mondays-Wednesdays I usually end at 1030-1130pm, and if there are deadlines to meet, I go back at 2-3am.
- Like some have mentioned, it’s the unofficial hours that matters more. For example, what’s the company culture like? Are you expected to do OT? Do the boss/management expect you to be at your desk and already working on something at 9am (means you’d have to arrive earlier than 9am), to do at least an hour of OT, bother you for nonsensical things past work hours and expects a reply?
My previous toxic workplace that I quit in 6 months was like that. If you leave work at 6pm (agreed hours in contract is 9-6), the boss will claim that the team/employees do not have enough work to do (will sarcastically comment “Wah, y’all got no work to do ah, so free!”) The bosses spams work related messages in group chats after work hours, calls employees over the weekends and expect a response.
My current workplace is way better — they don’t micromanage and are quite flexible on the arrival time and lunch hours. As long as your work is done on time and you don’t take advantage of their flexibility (like taking 3 hour lunch breaks and arriving in office at 11am or something), all is good.
- These hours are only possible because Singaporean workdays are really inefficient. 1.5-hour, even 2-hour lunches. Tea breaks in late morning and afternoon. Lots of standing around not doing work.
In contrast, when I worked in the US, no tradition of tea breaks. When I worked with a German dude, his timing was 9-5, a very efficient 1-hour break, with the rest of the time spent on work.