- The Straits Times
Feel like you need a break from work? That might be because Singaporeans, on average, take only 14 paid vacation days a year, a study has found.
This makes Singapore the country which takes the fifth lowest number of paid leave days in a year, according to the work-life index published by technology company Kisi on Wednesday (August 7).
The study ranked 40 cities based on overall-work life balance by taking into account three different categories, namely: work intensity, the city’s society and institutions, and city livability.
Paid vacation days were one of the factors considered under work intensity, among others such as the number of hours worked in a week and unemployment.
According to Kisi, Japanese workers took the lowest number of 9.8 paid vacation days a year.
This was followed by the US, whose workers took an average of 10.2 paid vacation days annually.
Malaysia and Australia did not fare much better, with 12.3 and 13.9 paid leave days taken respectively.
Singaporeans work 48 hours a week
Apart from going on fewer breaks, Singapore was also the city with the most number of people working for more than 48 hours in a week, the study revealed.
According to Kisi, people in Singapore work for an average of 44.6 hours in a week, with 23 per cent working for more than 48 hours.
Kuala Lumpur followed closely behind, with 22 per cent of people working for more than 48 hours a week. Kuala Lumpur workers also worked longer hours than their Singapore counterparts, with an average of 46 hours a week clocked.
Singapore ranks poorly for work-life balance
Singapore placed 32nd on Kisi’s list for overall work-life balance, which was topped by Helsinki, Munich and Oslo.
But Singapore was not alone in the region. Kisi ranked cities in Asia relatively low, with Hong Kong, Tokyo and Kuala Lumpur ranking below Singapore at 35th, 39th and 40th place respectively.
Kisi warned that the results of the study should not be used as a city livability index, and the report is not meant to highlight the best cities to work in.
Instead, the firm said its index was “designed to be a guideline for cities to benchmark their ability to support the fulfillment of residents’ lives by improving the aspects of life which help relieve work-related stress and intensity”.
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