SINGAPORE: A Singaporean employee took to social media to ask others if the mentality of “can’t leave until my boss leaves” is still prevalent in office work settings.

“Do many people in Singapore still have this mentality? I know this might still be prevalent in countries in Japan, China etc..” the employee wrote on r/askSingapore on Friday (Jan 2).

The employee further disclosed that he had recently reconnected with friends from university, and those friends, who were employed by SMEs in particular, informed him that they typically would not dare leave on time until their bosses had left.

He and other employees working in MNCs, however, disregarded this tradition and left on the dot.

“It will be quite depressing if such mentality is being passed down in future generations,” the employee added.

SG Redditors: “Honestly, I feel the mentality is more on the workers rather than the company.”

In the comments section, one redditor shared that his colleagues had the same mentality, saying that they would stay from morning till 10-11pm sometimes just to show they are very “dedicated” workers. 

See also  Singapore's 4-day work week may not be for everyone

“Sure, some of them were high flyers and got promoted fast. But honestly speaking, that is just poor time management and imbalanced lifestyle in my opinion. Several of them became out of shape.”

Another wrote, “Honestly, I feel the mentality is more on the workers rather than the company. We were taught to be competitive. To achieve a good impression and performance review we need to show our bosses we are hardworking.”

One redditor also shared that he’s never seen this mentality in his workplace despite hearing so much about it elsewhere, adding, “the only tradition that I still strongly hold to is you don’t start eating until everyone is with you on the table especially the person footing the bill.”

So, is it okay to leave work on time?

In this day and age where more and more employees have started to advocate for their rights and establish work boundaries, leaving the office on time has become the norm. The younger generation of managers and supervisors has also begun to follow suit, encouraging their staff members to depart as soon as the clock strikes 6. 

See also  Singapore's Working Hours: Longer Days, More Productivity or Just More Stress?

The idea that someone has a strong work ethic if they stay late has gradually fallen out of practice in most companies, with some bosses even assuming that employees who do stay late have poor time management skills. 

When employees leave on time, this not only promotes a healthy work-life balance, but also improves their overall health and productivity. 

One study, conducted across three continents, found that people who work more than 55 hours a week have a 33% higher risk of stroke and 13% higher risk of coronary heart disease than people who work 35 to 40 hours. 

Studies have also demonstrated that working longer hours eventually results in “diminishing returns,” meaning that every additional hour spent in the office reduces productivity after a certain point.

If, on the other hand, you work somewhere where the custom of “you can not leave until your boss does” is still followed, you need to be sure that nothing will be used against you if you choose to leave the office on time. That means doing your job well, working well as part of a team, getting things done on time and doing your best to get along with your colleagues.