SINGAPORE: Amidst the hustle and bustle of Singapore’s corporate world, a woman recently turned to social media to address a pressing issue that plagues many in the workforce: the long working hours.

In her post on r/askSingapore on Saturday (May 25), she asked, “Corporate slaves working very long hours, how do you handle it?”

The female employee, who is also relatively new to her job, shared her own working experience, saying that despite the generous pay, the position brought her “lots of stress, long working hours, terrible sleep, and frequent sick days.”

“I know long hours are common, especially in industries like banking, law, and more. Seeking advice from those who are facing a similar situation on how you manage your stress and time,” she wrote.

Many Singaporeans related to the employee’s situation in the discussion thread and shared their personal experiences.

One individual said that back when he had a high-paying job, he endured so much stress that he gained weight, felt constantly miserable and isolated, and often snapped at his loved ones, including his partner and children.

See also  HP SG: "Employees feel empowered" when they get to decide the "way of working that is most effective for them"

After enduring this ordeal, he decided to leave his job, realizing that the extra S$1,000-2,000 he earned monthly wasn’t worth the toll on his health and well-being.

Another person recounted leaving her job at an advertising agency because they made her work overtime until 9 pm, often extending to early mornings when project deadlines were near.

Others, meanwhile, offered her some advice on how to lessen her stress and manage her time without feeling overwhelmed.

Their suggestions included prioritizing more important and urgent work, adapting a mindset of “finding meaning in what one does,” speaking up when necessary, and not letting stress build up unnecessarily.

One Redditor wrote, “After a few years, I learnt that not all tasks needs to be completed on time. Learn what is impactful for your clients or your manager/directors. Focus on the deliverables that has greatest impact to revenue or Gp.

Other tasks, deprioritize. No need to stay up late for these. Delegate grunt work if possible.”

See also  SG drops 19 spots in ranking of countries most suitable for remote work

Some recommended practising simple self-care activities like exercising, eating on time, taking short naps during breaks, or listening to her favourite music to recharge and reduce stress.

Adverse health effects of working long hours

In 2021, the World Health Organization published a study about the adverse health effects of working long hours.

Their research revealed that working 55 hours or more weekly is linked to a 35% higher risk of stroke and a 17% higher risk of ischemic heart disease compared to a 35–40 hour workweek. 

Dr. Maria Neira, Director of the Department of Environment, Climate Change, and Health at the World Health Organization, stated, “Working 55 hours or more per week is a serious health hazard.”

Moreover, Business News Daily, an online platform assisting entrepreneurs in making informed decisions, emphasized that working 50 hours per week may result in reduced productivity, burnout, weight gain, depression, and panic and anxiety attacks.

What should I do if it’s unavoidable?

Health professionals highly discourage employees from working long hours due to the abovementioned risks.

See also  Lawrence Wong says AI will disrupt labour market, but does not ‘believe we will end up with a jobless future’

However, if overtime is unavoidable, Indeed, an employment site, recommends that you take intermittent breaks, create a structured schedule to allocate specific time to tasks, make healthy choices, stay hydrated, minimize distractions, and, most importantly, get some rest at the end of the day.

Read also: Employee says he’s going crazy “with 44-hour work week in Singapore”

Featured image by Depositphotos