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Indonesian hired for a banking job asks if 9.5-hour workday is ‘normal’ in Singapore

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“How do people cope with such long working hours without burning out?,” was his question to which he received a myriad of replies, many of them stating that it wasn’t at all unusual in Singapore to work such hours

SINGAPORE: “Is 9.5h workday normal in Singapore?” asked Reddit user hoddeokk on Thursday (Mar 16), explaining that he’s an Indonesian who studied and worked in the US before moving to Singapore for a job 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,” he continued, before asking, “How do people cope with such long working hours without burning out?”

The question has sparked a lively discussion on r/askSingapore, getting over 200 comments in less than a day.

Many netizens affirmed that this is just about par for the course for Singapore.

“Please be prepared before coming here lol, Asian work culture is the opposite of what you’ll experience in US,” wrote one individual.

“My wife typically works 9am to 7pm, then after dinner works from home from 8pm til midnight. She would be thrilled at a 9.5h workday,” a netizen responded.

“Looks like you just discovered the reason why our fertility rate is almost the lowest in the world!” is one much-upvoted comment.

“We cope by burning out,” another joked.

One Reddit user chimed in “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.”

“You would also be one of the lucky few in Singapore if your work hours really ends at 6.30 pm daily,” wrote another.

One Reddit user offered this: “Most that I’ve worked for doesn’t really enforce the 1hr lunchtime rule. Most would take 1.5-2hrs break. I guess it’s to compensate for the longer working hours.”

And one wrote, “You will see most people don’t work full steam for the whole period. Eg, me on Reddit now.”

For perspective, this is what guidemesingapore.com says about working hours: “As a general rule in Singapore, office employees work from Monday through Friday, from 9 am to 6 pm or 7 pm, depending on the industry and company policies. It is not uncommon for Singapore employees to work 9-10 hours during the weekdays and half-day on Saturdays.”



Reddit user wants to know if others are also worried about being retrenched in their 50’s

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