1 in 3 S'poreans distracted by work on holidays: Study
A STRONG work ethic and greater penetration of technology mean Singaporeans find it hard to let go of work during holidays, a study has found.
They fare poorly among peers in the Asia-Pacific region when it comes to leaving the stress of work behind, according to the study.
One in three (32 per cent) Singaporeans finds it hard to let go of work while on a holiday, while as many as 51 per cent said their bosses expect them to be contactable.
This is according to findings by recruitment and human-resource service provider Randstad's Q2 2015 Workmonitor research released yesterday.
The study covers 34 countries and territories around the world, including those in the Asia-Pacific region, Europe and the Americas.
The study, which sampled 400 respondents through an online questionnaire in Singapore, says greater connectivity like data roaming and technology like smartphones have made it increasingly difficult for employees to get away from the office.
"Singapore employees are also known to have a strong work ethic and are often motivated by money and career progression," said Michael Smith, Randstad's country director for Singapore.
"This can often translate into working long hours in order to achieve their career goals; but it also makes it harder to switch off once they leave the office," Mr Smith pointed out.
"We found that 62 per cent of employees don't mind handling work-related matters in their own time, while 41 per cent choose to keep their work during holidays as they like to stay involved," he added.
"While it's great to have a high level of commitment to your job, employees need to learn when to let go."
Mr Smith said being able to switch off from work actually helps improve productivity and boosts morale, adding that employees should feel that they are able to set their own boundaries and allow themselves to relax.
"Hand over your work to a colleague before you go on holiday, with instructions that you want to hear from them only if something really urgent comes up," he said.
"Stop responding to e-mail messages once you've left the office unless it's really necessary, otherwise that's what your clients and colleagues will come to expect all the time.
"Enjoying time away from work helps employees rejuvenate and recover from the pressures they face in the office."
The findings about Singapore put it among the top in the list of Asia-Pacific countries and territories where employees do not leave the stresses of work behind.
Only Japanese (44 per cent) and Malaysian employees (36 per cent) are likely to do the same.
Employees in China (15 per cent) and Hong Kong (19 per cent) are the most relaxed when it comes to taking time off work, followed by Australia (24 per cent), New Zealand (25 per cent) and India (27 per cent).
Randstad's Workmonitor Mobility Index aims to provide an understanding of job market sentiments and employee trends.
By measuring mobility, it provides insights into employee satisfaction and personal motivation.
It also explores sentiments around key trends shaping the world of work for employees each quarter.