News: 25% of Singaporeans almost never leave work on time: Report


25% of Singaporeans almost never leave work on time: Report

The research by YouGov suggests that a prevalent reason for staying back is showing face or the practice of presenteeism.
25% of Singaporeans almost never leave work on time: Report

Almost a quarter (25%) of Singaporeans almost never leave work on time, reveals the latest data by YouGov Omnibus. The research reveals that 22% ‘rarely’ leave the office on time, while 3% ‘never’ do. About 47% of Singaporeans leave the office on time ‘most of the time’, and three in ten or 28% do ‘sometimes’.

Though there may be a number of reasons for people to stay back late, the research suggests that a prevalent one is ‘showing face ’that is the practice of presenteeism or staying at work for longer than required to boost one’s own professional standing.


When questioned if they have stayed back late just to ‘show face’, almost six in ten (61%) Singaporeans say they have. The data also highlights the main reasons why Singaporeans are so concerned about ‘showing face’. Four in ten or 43% believe that it’s important to do so to advance their career, two in ten 21% don’t, while 36% are undecided.

About two thirds or 67% of Singaporeans think it’s acceptable to leave the office before their boss, though this is view mostly held by high-earners (those earning more than SGD 8,000 a month). Seven in ten or 72% of high-earners find this okay, but less than six in ten or 57% of low-earners (those earning less than SGD 4,000 a month) do.

Six in ten (57%) have also admitted to coming into work even when ill to ‘show face’. Older Singaporeans (those aged 55 and above) are less likely to do this, with six in ten (61%) having never come in while sick, as opposed to younger Singaporeans (those aged 18 to 34), where only four in ten (38%) choose not to show up to work while ill.

Similar to the practice of ‘showing face’ is one of ‘losing face’-that is, something that causes people to stop admiring or respecting you. Almost 53% of Singaporeans think it is important not to lose face in the workplace. One third or 33% aren’t bothered while one in seven or 14% believe it is unimportant.

Jake Gammon, Head of YouGov Omnibus in APAC commented: “Productivity is always one of the biggest things businesses have to address, and long hours do not always equate to productivity. However, this research suggests that many Singaporeans are staying back late at work just to ‘show face’ – sometimes trying to curry favour, other times attempting to boost their reputation. In a large number of cases, people even come when they are ill.”

These results based on 756 Singaporeans surveyed by YouGov Omnibus however the revelations clearly point that most Singaporeans that Singaporeans still equate long work hours to showing that they are productive-a mindset trend that is changing albeit gradually.

Image Credits: YouGuv

Topics: Culture, Life @ Work

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