Poll: Singaporeans Overworked, Lack Vacation, Leave Time

Nearly two-thirds of full-time workers in Singapore felt “vacation-deprived” in 2018, with about four in 10 saying they could not get enough time off work to use up their annual leave. Some 77%said they were willing to take a pay cut to get an extra day off.

These were the results of a work-life survey conducted by travel agency Expedia. Expedia polled over 11,000 full-time working adults across 19 markets globally, including 300 respondents in Singapore.

63% of Singapore workers in 2018 felt that they didn’t get enough vacation time, up from 57% in 2017 and 41% in 2016. This brought Singapore up one spot to the 6th most vacation-deprived market in the world.

A concerning finding was that half of respondents didn’t use up their annual leave with the most commonly cited reason being work.

Singaporeans also displayed other workaholic tendencies such as being connected to their work even when on holiday, with more than half admitting to doing so. A whopping eight in 10 respondents will check their e-mails or voicemails at least once while on holiday.

Moreover, 30% of Singapore workers also felt that their managers expected them to be available constantly.

Expedia’s survey results build upon a growing body of research that cites Singapore as one of the most overworked countries in the world. Despite statistics from the Ministry of Manpower showing that the number of working hours here has been on a steady decline in general since at least 2010, Singapore workers remain among the hardest working in the world — at least when measured by hours of work clocked.

MOM found that Singaporeans worked about 44.9 paid hours a week in 2018. For a typical five-day work week, this equates to almost nine hours of work a day. In other advanced economies, a regular work week is about 35 to 40 hours.

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