Companies in Singapore are catching on to the importance of work-life balance as a way to keep employees happy and productive
Ministry of Design, a Singapore-based architectural and design firm is letting employees clock out at 3.30pm every Friday!
Singapore architectural and design firm Ministry Of Design has made it a point to let employees clock off from work earlier, at 3.30pm every Friday.
Because of this, employees of the award-winning company have more time to run errands and unwind before the weekend
Released from work, some people such as architectural designer Angie Ng, 30, use the time to run errands before the bank closes for the weekend.
She says: "Getting off early is great because it lets me do crowd-free shopping. If I'm travelling, it lets me catch an earlier flight, so I essentially get an additional half day of holiday time."
Other employees such as senior architectural designer Darren Yio, 36, visit museums, bookshops and cinemas before the crowds descend in the evening.
Following Ministry of Design's footsteps, companies like OCBC Bank and Standard Chartered have made it a point to cut down working hours on Fridays
OCBC Bank allows its staff to leave work an hour early every Friday. On that day, for example, vice-president for consumer financial services Evon Lee, who is in her 30s, leaves work at 5.30pm instead of the usual 6.30pm. She says: "I like that I can spend more time with my family over a good dinner on Fridays." Employees at Standard Chartered are encouraged not to organise any internal meeting or conference call after 3.30pm on Fridays.straitstimes.com
Companies are also introducing more types of special leave days, like birthday and well-being leaves
Lendlease, a property group adds three days of well-being days every year, on top of the 22 days of annual leave. This newly introduced leave can be used for a holiday or pursue personal interests.
DBS, a multinational banking and financial services company gives half a day to an employee, which can be taken any time during the birthday month.
While all these added benefits may seem counter-intuitive in a time when technology is making work more accessible, a study from 2003 has proved otherwise
A 2003 study by the Singapore National Employers Federation on 11 Singapore-based organisations found that for every $1 spent on family-friendly programmes, the organisation reaped a return of $1.68. Companies with good work-life balance saw a higher productivity rate.
These changes couldn't come at a better time too, considering the long hours Singaporeans have been working. Did you know Singaporeans work at an average of 46 hours per week?
In the latest Ministry of Manpower (MOM)’s quarterly Labour Market report, it was revealed that Singapore has an average of 2389.4 hours in 2014, an average of 46 hours a week. The result continues to place Singapore in its number one position in the longest working hours in the world.statestimesreview.com
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