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Redditors echo fresh grad’s work-life balance struggle in Singapore

Discussion ignited on Reddit as a fresh grad laments Singapore’s work-life balance challenges. Many resonate, citing stress and limited personal time due to work culture.



A Redditor has taken to social media to voice his scepticism regarding the challenge of achieving a sustainable lifestyle and work-life balance in Singapore. The post went further to question the Singapore working culture, and criticising societal expectations and governmental policies that seem to exacerbate their struggles.

In a heartfelt post, the Redditor, seemingly a fresh-to-enter workforce, lays bare the daily grind that has become their new reality.

The Reddit user described the jarring routine of early mornings, frenzied commutes, and marathon office hours, leaving him with precious little time for self-care or leisure activities.

” I have barely 1 – 2 hours to do ANYTHING and my eyes are too tired from staring at a computer all day that I just either fall asleep or if I stay up til midnight the next day I’m tired and barely running on coffee.”

“And it’s just like, how am I supposed to get anything done or live this way for the next 40+ years of my life?”

Despite having a relatively “cushy” office job, he feel exhausted, stressed, and unable to enjoy their hobbies or socialize with friends.

he described that The weekends are just spent to catching up on sleep or doing the things he couldn’t do on weekdays.

The Redditor is comparing their experience with his mother’s work schedule, expressing concern about whether their struggle with work-life balance is due to the broader Singaporean work culture or if it’s a personal issue related to their anxiety.

The Redditor continues to express frustration with societal expectations and government policies that seem to exacerbate their already overwhelming work-life balance.

He feel conflicted about the pressure to upskill themselves, pursue romantic relationships, and contribute to society while struggling to find time for basic social interactions and personal fulfillment.

“I don’t even have money neither do I want to get a helper into my house to reduce the chores I have to do eating up my time, and then I look at the government claiming 4 day work week doesn’t work and there’s no intention of reducing the hours?”

He express doubt about the sustainability of the current situation and wonder if remote work or a shorter workweek could provide some relief.

Feeling overwhelmed by the long hours and lack of time for themselves outside of work, he seek netizens’ advice on how to cope with the situation and express frustration with the expectation to work long hours while struggling to maintain a fulfilling personal life.

“Am I going crazy? There’s no way this is sustainable?? Does everyone have 1-2 remote work days or something??”

Other Redditors echo the work-life balance struggle

The active participation of Redditors in response to the original post reflects a widespread sentiment among working-class individuals in Singapore regarding the challenges of work-life balance and the impact of the city-state’s work culture.

Many Redditors echoed the sentiments expressed by the original poster (OP), highlighting the long working hours and time-consuming commutes that are characteristic of Singaporean work culture.

Some emphasized that while similar challenges exist in other developed countries, the specific nuances of Singapore’s work environment exacerbate stress and limit personal time.

A Redditor shared own experience of struggling with the rigidity of office-based work and the lack of flexibility in Singapore’s employment landscape.

“Alas this is “normal” for the Singaporean office worker, and also explains why most Singaporeans have zero hobbies and their identities solely revolve around work. ”

Another shared the same sentiment, telling the OP that it’s the culture is crazy and advocating for the idea of “working to sustain a living” rather than “living to work,” suggesting that individuals should have the autonomy to prioritize their personal lives and interests alongside their professional obligations.

One Redditor added a poignant reflection on the harsh reality of financial necessity. While empathizing with the struggles expressed by the OP, upon “looking at his own bank account”, he felt compelled to persist with his daily routine.

Redditor shares experience: Good paying job with 12-hour shifts and overtime

In a thoughtful comment addressing the struggle of reconciling demanding work schedules with personal life, a Redditor shared a personal anecdote about her fiancé’s past work experience.

She recounted how her fiancé endured 12-hour shifts, with additional overtime spanning four days a week, despite the allure of a good salary.

“The money earned was not bad, but he couldn’t go on anymore and he changed to an office hours job that pays about 1-1.5k less since no OT or allowances.”

Meanwhile, there are also comments advised for adapting to work advise against “overthinking” and putting unnecessary stress on oneself, suggesting that it’s essential to prioritize mental well-being over climbing the career ladder.

A fresh graduate expressed scepticism about his ability to maintain a social life and date while feeling perpetually drained from a demanding work schedule.

He shared that working from 8 am to 6 pm Monday to Friday, with an additional half-day on Saturday, their weekdays extend into long hours, leaving him exhausted upon returning home.

70% of Singapore employees have poor work-life balance

According to a 2022 study by Randstad, 70% of Singapore employees have a poor work-life balance due to an overwhelming workload.

33% of respondents said that they tend to work overtime because their bosses and colleagues send emails and text messages at night and on weekends.

35% of respondents said that they like hybrid work because they do not have to commute to the office.

survey by Ipsos, a research and analytics firm, unveils deeply concerning statistics regarding the mental well-being of Singaporeans in its Ipsos World Mental Health Day 2023 Report published in September last year.

Mental health emerged as a predominant concern for Singaporeans, with close to half of respondents regarding it as one of the country’s most significant health issues (46%) even ahead of cancer (38%) in 2023.

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Productivity and Worklife-Balance are two mutually exclusive goals. The govt wants BOTH. Which is why they have consistently FAILED. The only way forward is for everyone to ask themselves: What is the PURPOSE of Life?

The answer to THAT one question that is mutually agreeable to everyone will show the way forward.

What were you expecting when the ruling government opened the flood gates to migrant workers? They will work harder than you, and for longer hours and they can tolerate it because once they get enough money and experience, they can pack up and leave. Can Singaporeans do that? Probably not. Yes, there will be foreigners that can work less and earn more, but comparing foreign executives with fresh graduates is false equivalency. What were you expecting from the ruling elite, so detached from the struggles of the everyman that their default response is always something along the lines of “let… Read more »

CB strawberry gen.
Got a job now already considered so….lucky now….still want ….work life balance…
No wonder FTs are swarming in to GRAB the jobs and let these CB locals do..GRAB….instead!😆😆😆🤣🤣🤣

Look no further than CommChina where most of the youths there have embraced the “lying flat” movement and opting for the “B1 and B2 economy” !!!

It’s just the general realisation of the man~made “rat race” and the ever diminishing returns, … no matter how many hours, sweat and tears you put into your “work/projects” !!!

Especially when, … general and basic costs are consistently running many many paces ahead of you !!!

Do thank the “think~tank”, … which is of course, the party with the lightning logo, striking at the heart and soul of most SillyPoreans !!!

The power to change the situation is in your hands. Those of you who are below 50s. This year is your chance to change the Government. In the 4 years with a new Government, there can be lots of changes. Believe this. If you vote the same political party to be the Government, It will be same as usual. Lots of promises to change but you should also believe that they will not do anything. To have a legalised 4 daywork week, you will need, as a first step, a political party that is pro labour and pro business in… Read more »