A typical office worker in Singapore clocks in at 9am and finishes at 6pm.
We generally accept this to be the norm and many don’t do much besides complain about it in the pantry and on social media.
Some employers, such as TikTok user @thatasianmama, more openly champion for more… humane working hours.
On her socials, the user dubs herself a “working mummy”.
She appears to be a financial service manager and the founder of a company that provides motherhood services and products.
Our minds are still in bed at 9am
In a TikTok video posted on Apr. 11, the Singapore-based entrepreneur ardently declared, “I will never get my staff to start work at 9am and I’ll tell you why.”
@thatasianmama Oh well… if you are reporting at 830am, change a job. If companies can be more open minded, productivity can increase, happiness index too will increase in within individuals who works in the company. Yes? #sgmummy #womenoftiktok #womenempowerment #momboss #corporatetok #productivity #asianmom #bosstok ♬ Dream Away – Ramol
“At 9am, any typical person reporting to the office — what do you think they’re doing? They’re going to the pantry to take coffee, tea, water, eat breakfast. Everybody’s day hasn’t started yet. It’s not productive for the workers and not productive for the company.”
She kind of has a point.
At 9am, many of us still tread the line between sleep and sentience — zombies staring blankly at the coffee in our hands and hoping it’ll give us some semblance of sanity.
@thatasianmama clarified that that doesn’t mean she condones slacking off: “But when you start work at 10am, please do not come in to eat breakfast.”
We mentally check out by 4pm
Continuing to stir the pot, the business owner said, “I will also not get anyone to work for me until 6pm.”
Why? Because people neither possess the will nor brain capacity to function by then.
“By then people would have probably been sitting at their desk for about six hours. The brains are fried and they’re thinking of going home. They’re thinking about where they’re gonna go after work, they’re not concentrating anymore. They’re not productive anymore.”
For @thatasianmama, it’s all about work hard, play hard.
She’d rather her employees give their all between 10am to 4pm, after which they’re free to “feel happy and have some work-life balance”.
SG working hours
As of now, the video has amassed 2 million views and garnered 142,000 likes.
What she’s saying evidently resonates with her viewers.
Several comments asked if she was hiring, and many agreed profusely with her speech.
Are people in Singapore really that overworked?
The Ministry of Manpower’s guide on employment laws states that from Monday to Friday, “contractual working hours (excluding break time and overtime) cannot exceed eight hours a day or 44 hours a week”.
These could pass off as reasonable — until we get a glimpse of greener pastures in other countries.
For instance, Australia’s Fair Work Act revealed that employees in the country work a maximum of 38 hours a week.
Other countries, however, seem to share similar statistics to Singapore.
In Taiwan, “regular working hours of an employee may not exceed eight hours a day or 40 hours a week.”
Many industries in China, especially tech, suffer from a notorious 996 culture where one starts work at 9am, ends at 9pm, and repeats the gruelling process for six days a week.
This leads to a practically non-existent social life and permanent bags beneath the eyes.
@thatasianmama maintained that more realistic working hours were the first step to helping workers be more happy.
“If you are reporting at 8:30am, change job. If companies can be more open-minded, productivity can increase, happiness index will increase for individuals who work in the company.”
While that may be the case, a lot of it also has to do with managing one’s personal expectations and learning to find a job that keeps you from wanting to break down every Monday.
Top images from thatasianmama