One mother, Jinghan Naan, has recently taken to Facebook to share her thoughts on work-life balance in Singapore.

Daughter’s words

In a Facebook post on Dec. 5, she shared what her 18-month old daughter, Masha, said to her one night:

Photo via Jinghan Naan’s Facebook post.

Experience with job interview panel

These words prompted Jinghan to think about the state of work-life balance in Singapore, and recalled a job interview that she went for more than a year ago.

During the interview, she asked the panel if the position offered work-life balance, defined as:

“Work-life balance is when I don’t have to bring my laptop home. And I don’t have to do any work after working hours. Once I switch off my laptop, I’m out.”

According to her, her question drew some “disappointed sighs” from the panel, who responded saying that she may be required to work past the working hours.

They also added that such arrangements are “quite normal”.

S’poreans work too long hours

According to Jinghan, “working hours are way too long” here, and the ‘9 to 5’ phrase that people use to describe office jobs don’t apply to Singapore.

“In Singapore, if you start at 9am, you end at 630pm!”

Apart from long working hours, she added that she also spends 12 hours a day being away from home after accounting for commuting time.

Work should end at 4pm

Ideally, Jinghan thinks that work should end at 4pm everyday:

“We can finally slip in a short trip to the park, to the pool. We could stroll to the minimart or visit our grandparents who live nearby. For once, we can actually walk in daylight on a weekday with our children. And not under street lamps at night.”

However, she also confessed that ending at 4pm is “just a dream” that will probably never happen.

Until that happens, she hopes that “what little time we have with our loved ones will be filled with countless memories, happiness and laughter”.

This is her full post:


Top photo from Jinghan Naan’s Facebook.