Sunday 12 September 2010

My Singapore working hours

“So what time do you knock-off?”
“How late do you work till?”
“Are the hours crazy?”

I have been bombarded with the above questions or the likes for the last 3 months by my Malaysian friends and ex-colleagues. All are under the impression that people here work non-stop and I will be drowned in it.

Remember the conversation that I had with my boss on
why he hired me? In that conversation, he also told me this…

“You want to come in late, you come in late. You want to go for 2 hour lunch, you go for 2 hour lunch. You want to go back early, you can just go. But whatever you do… make sure you don’t fucked up in your work. If you’re fucked, I’m fucked. Staying back late to show me that you work hard doesn’t work here”

I guess that pretty much sums up the trend in my office. The big-boss generally leaves at around 6.45pm because he needs to pick up his kids. Of course, certain days he will have to stay for con-calls or other urgent matters. But it’s not very frequent.

There are a few days where my direct boss will leave between 6 – 6.30pm for his sports activities. Generally, he won’t stay past 7pm.

As for me… So far, there was only 1 day where I stayed on past 9pm because I had to rush something. On average, I will be having dinner at home by 7.30pm.

So to answer all those questions…

I do not stay late because my boss has made it very clear that it’s the quality and not the quantity that matters. I believe that’s the general principle here in Singapore, it’s all about performance. The if-you-go-back-early-means-you-don’t-have-enough-work theory doesn’t apply here, though that theory is very prominent in Malaysia where quantity is often perceived as performance.

As for getting into the office, I get in at around 9 – 9.15am. There were a few days where I have to come in early for calls with people from USA but that is not an everyday thing.

During my recent kidney check-up, I told my boss about my appointment and that I will be coming in late. He (fully aware of my kidney situation) looked at me funny and said…

“You don’t have to tell me these things. It’s a very matured working environment here, and you are not a junior person. If you have to go, you have to go”.

That’s pretty much my Singapore working hours.

3 years ago…
A trip of co-incidencesA thought from an overloaded brain


Jun said...

i guess it's different btwn companies. my friends who work in spore certainly dun get the relative luxury that u do ;)

day-dreamer said...

Nice. I like.

Anonymous said...

Agreed with Jun. My husband worked in an MNC in S'pore before too and he was even working from home through the weekends and slept only 5-6hrs.

While it's nice that you can be home for dinner by 7.30pm, are you thinking and dreaming about work from 8pm-8am? ;-)

doc said...

maybe i'm reading too much into this, but could your boss be doing the reverse-psychology thingy, saying what he said but actually expecting you to stay late??

anyway, it sounds very much like you are the boss's right hand man.

Kim said...

Many would have envied you ;)
It's really sad that quantity is perceived as performance but luckily mine doesn't after I moved out from my current company. It all depends on the culture and the boss to make you work on what kind of hours, if one doesn't like it, either to stay and live with it or just move on...

fufu said...

haha it depends what company you are working with... i was working with a japanese multi national company... erm...damn 12hrs!!!

secret agent woman said...

I usually start about 8am, but leave anywhere from 3pm to 6:30 pm depending on the day. 9 pm would probably kill me.

Amanda Christine Wong said...

that sounds like fun and reasonable. unlike here, we have to come early and stay late to 'ampu' the big boss. while doing direct sells in between free time. sigh. if only it's the same as singapore.

missironic said...

Hahaha.. nice and flexible working hours! i like! :D

me said...

i think it's the 'not a junior person' part. :-p :-p. step on any junior person slaving away like ants on your way in and out of the office? :-p :-p :-p

Lydia said...

Wahhhhhhh!!! I like what you post today! :P Super chun, will apply it to my business! :)

doublelletee said...

totally agree on it's the quality, not quantity. no point wasting time in the office when you can go home and spend some valuable family time with your loved ones. =)

H.C. Tan said...

i've been away from the blogosphere for quite a bit! but glad u still blog...and also surprised to see that you now work in Sg :) hope things are working out for u...take care!

Yvonne Foong said...

I thought the 9-5 work hour is the one desired. Yours sound longer than that.

Anonymous said...



InjusticeSistem said...

I hv very long working hrs...
Start before 9 and normally leave after 8 if its a slow day,if its a packed day it can get as late as midnite....
This is my typical work day:

8am I punch in,
8am-9am I turn on pc
make kopi n smoke some ciggy,
9am i ajak (invite) my kolig(colleague) go brekkie,
10 am we come back to opis(office),
I check email n Im not happy,
Bcos my email is flooded with with work instead of porn freebie,
Now i log into facebook/msn chat/yahoo chat/icq chat/skype chat/irc chat to look for all my equally lazy honeys,
Now Im a little bit happy,
Cos all my fuck buddies r online n equally horny,
In case u wonder what i do daily,
Basically is to dirty chat with me honeys while acting busy,
Time really fly cos its now time for lunchie,
Yes i know its only 11.30,
But all dat sex chat really got me horny n thirsty,
So its time again for some ciggy,
N also invite kolik for lunchie,
So we can all exchange porn DVDs,
Yes i know,we r all cheapskate bankcruptcee,
Now is time to get back to ofis,
Continue with all dat sex chat thingy,
Eyes are getting weary,
So its best to tk a break n do some work for what-his-name-my-boss-Frankie,
Phew...manage to reply 2 emails explaining to Frankie,
How my work is hindered n delay by imcompetent old lady,
Both of us know im making excuses cos im fucking lazy,
But Frankie cant do jack shit cos i supply him with lotsa ladies,
And he knows i can cover up his loose end with his wifey,
Therefore in da ofis i enjoy immunity,
While hardworking honest staff hv to work OT,
But now its already 7.30,
Its a slow day my matey,
Cos i only manage to hook up with 1 fuck buddy,
U win some u lose some on days like dis,
Im heading to da nearest KFC,
To get tk away dinner for my lady fren who is a chinky,
Check in n we start humping,
By da time we check out my legs r wobbly n shaky,
Oh man its almost 12.30,
Must be home by 1.30,
Don wat to upset da wifey,
Besides i stl wanna hold my baby n sing him rockabybaby,
Yes this is my daily work life my sporean matey,
In case u wonder how da hell dis is a possibility,

To those of u who are offended or think i am exaggerating.... ;)
p/s Zewt u hv my full blessing to re-print re-post or wateva da hell u wanna do with dis....

Jerine said...

I won't be joining you in Singapore anymore. Sad to say, I'm taking CLP :(

TzeThon said...

your working hours are quite cool. in the beginning i thought you were about to say you leave office at 4pm everyday :P

jerine: i didn't know you were planning to go to singapore! but whatever it is. it will be wayyyyyy better than the stupid CLP!

Reanaclaire said...

some companies do not mind the flexible working hours their employees take.. as long as they work and they produce results eventually..that is all that counts.. :)

mia said...

nice posting...

Anonymous said...

what kind of a fucked boss is that zewt ? Oh and by the way - do all singaporean employers use the word ' fuck ' as part of their vocabulary ??? just curious....:)

zewt said...

Jun - i guess i am blessed :)

day-dreamer - me too :)

anon @ 12/9 10.27pm - nah... when i am home, i switch off. else how to blog :P

doc - probably because he doesnt have a left hand man? :)

Kimmy - yeah, i have to say... boss plays a big role.

fufu - wooaaah... japanese... sure die...

secret agent woman - well, i guess it's better to work in the west? not new york though...

zewt said...

Amanda Christine Wong - hahahha... direct selling!!!???

missironic - not exactly flexible... just responsible timing.

Lydia - hope your business fly!

PixieFaerie - absolutely... couldnt agree more.

H.C. Tan - yeah, left bolehland...

Yvonne Foong - well, still much shorter than a lot of ppl.

anon @ 13/9 7.49pm - to 4 is ok lah... but to start at 7, i cant do that.

zewt said...

me - on the contrary, i dont have junior person working under me here, not like when i was in KL....

injusticesistem - very farni very farni... why dont you start a blog and make us all happi?

Jerine - CLP... ok mah...

zthon - 4pm... hahaha... i think i will be fired. but i think i can do that sometimes.

reanaclaire - yup... and i like such working environment.

mia - thanks :)

anon @ 14/9 7.15pm - oh man... wayyyyy more than when i was in KL.

norick said...

ermm I guess all this thing about flexible working hours only apply to those with higher position earning 5 figure per month in any company regardless MNC, GLC & etc..

On how the time management was done, is really depend on each personality if he is really performing or just enjoying his day like what Injustice mention

But I guess for normal exec level, the theory on 'if-you-go-back-early-means-you-don’t-have-enough-work' surely apply .. Else I only need to be in office 4 hours per day instead of 8 hours..

I wonder what would happen if I inform my boss on my situation.. sure die

Unicorn Girl said...

I think Injustice Sistem sums it all up well and straight to the point - fantastic eleboration !

eiling lim said...

my boss treats me the same way too and in MARS we practice mutuality so no one questions you if you leave early or come in late. It's just that if you come in later than 9.30, you loose the extra 10% bonus of the daily salary! haha

Huei said...

the reason y i love my job is..i come in whenever i want (but i still come in around 9-10 cos..i dun wana get into the habit of arriving late) n i leave around 7 cos i have to wait for my bf to fetch. my colleagues come in from 11-3 and sometimes we don;t come in at all if we have events.

this is also the reason y i won't work for any other jobs in malaysia..i detested my first job because if u leave sharp at 6pm..the bosses will glare at you. blegh..stupid cina apek mentality. and when there aren't any bosses to look at u cos he's locked up in his room..there are colleagues (my 3rd job) that shouts "GO BACK AH?" when u leave so the bosses can hear. i hate our bosses mentality! cina apek!

Mirebella said...

I think it is the industry. My job requires long hrs when required (esp when it comes to project completion times) but other days, working from home and somewhat flexi hours are quite the norm. Its pretty good most days except during peak (May - Sept) and (Nov-Feb) where you are well expected to be on the 6am flight and be away from home for the whole week till you come home for the weekend and hop on the plane again on Monday.

Enjoy the luxury. I never had that working in KL/HK tho :)

Ah Siang said...

agree man, it depends who your boss is. Your boss seems reasonable.It's about the same most of the time in Singapore. Don't fuck up. With greater power, comes bigger responsibility, less room for errors.

zewt said...

norick - true... i guess that's the cruelty of the modern slavery world, you need to pay your dues to climb the chain... sad... but true.

Unicorn Girl - haha... that is why he needs to start a blog.

eiling lim - how will you lose that 10%?

Huei - typical chinaman company... and your colleague... talk about being kiasu, malaysians are no different.

Mirebella - well, that is why i am not in KL/HK :P

Ah Siang - yeah, errors will ruin you completely... really completely...

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