Introduction To Singapore Work Culture
Singapore is among the top-most leading countries in terms of business and employment opportunities. There are many businesses across the world that have made their way to Singapore. Due to this reason, Singapore work culture has become mixed between the east and the west. It provides an ideal environment for business
growth and career development because of a stable political and economical environment. Almost 30% of the population are non-residents intending to conduct business activities in Singapore.
The ever-increasing number of businesses being set up in Singapore opens up many job opportunities for job seekers. There are people all across the world seeking jobs and residence in Singapore as the businesses are flourishing. Thus, it makes it necessary for people being employed in Singapore for the first time to understand Singapore work culture.
It is different from western work culture and could give a cultural shock to people coming from western countries. Following are some of the aspects of Singapore work culture that help you work better and understand the functioning of your workplace.
Read More: Singapore S Pass, Singapore Employment Pass
1. Highly Competitive
Businesses and start-ups in Singapore are constantly increasing in number. Businessmen and entrepreneurs from all across the world are finding their way to establish their businesses in Singapore. Due to this, the work environment of Singapore has become very competitive. There is competition for both, the business owner as well as the employee and they should be ready to work under a lot of pressure and with excessive saturation in the market.
2. Hierarchical Working System
Singaporeans follow a hierarchical structure of work which places a focus on respecting authority. Unlike most of the countries in the west, the staff cannot exchange their ideas and opinions openly with their colleagues and managers. The decision-making always lies in the hands of people in higher positions.
People working on lower levels should raise their opinions in a respectful manner and avoid back-talks and abrupt tones. Also, respecting your seniors especially if they’re older in age is very important while working in Singapore.
3. Priority of Groups than Individuals
Singapore work culture prioritizes groups rather than individuals. The opinions and likes of the majority are valued more than individual ideas. Workplaces in Singapore prefer team effort and achievements won as a team rather than individual effort.
Anti-group-centredness actions that damage group unity includes objecting to the group’s judgments, prioritizing individual demands over those of the community, and bragging about one’s own achievements.
Instead of aiming for individual praise, delegating tasks, supporting one another, and exchanging knowledge, this collectivist society prefers to work collaboratively and share benefits. As such, the responsibilities and rewards are shared by everyone in the team.
4. Rules and Regulations
Violation of rules and regulations in Singapore is highly unlikely be it a public place or workplace. People in Singapore have strict rules and patterns regarding the work that must be followed by the employees. They avoid making changes in the already existing patterns and do not entertain impulsive and crazy ideas.
Singaporeans are unable to innovate since they have been socialised to comply instead of trying to come up with original ideas. Creativity is required in work but can be explored to a reasonable extent.
5. Working Hours
The normal working hours in Singapore are about 9 hours per day or 48 hours per week and the maximum working hours in a day are 12 hours. Singaporeans are workaholics and generally tend to work 2 hours of overtime on a daily basis. The work environment is very competitive and fast-paced and one must be ready to work overtime on a weekly basis.
Payment for hours completed on weekends, legal holidays, and other non-work days is 1.5 times the standard wage. Employees who work for employers regulated by the Employment Act are not permitted to be requested to endure over 12 hours per day.
6. Cultural Diversity
There are many businesses in Singapore from all across the world. The mix of east and west culture in Singapore among the business owners and employees leads to cultural diversity and dissimilarities. This is one thing that must also be kept in mind while working in Singapore, especially as an employee.
7. Malay Culture
Most Malays in Singapore, who make up 13.6% of the population, are Muslims, so their traditional beliefs are closely tied to Islamic ones. In order to support Malay and Islamic values, Malay and Muslim employees:
Don’t get too close to people of the opposite sex. This means you shouldn’t shake hands, kiss, or hug Malay or Muslim coworkers of the opposite sex. Just a smile would do.
Say short prayers while you’re at work. Most of the time, Muslim workers are given quiet places in the office where they can pray. Most days, these prayers happen between 1 and 4 p.m. Most of the time, male Muslim workers are allowed to take longer lunch breaks on Fridays so they can go to the mosque and pray with the group.
When you’re with your Muslim coworkers, don’t eat or drink anything that doesn’t follow the halal rules.
Singaporean work culture is thus very competitive, workaholic, and saturated. It is necessary to follow the rules and regulations and stick to the ongoing business patterns. Yes, your creativity and innovation is very much valued in companies, however, you must follow a respectful and patient manner to pursue it. Showing mutual respect towards colleagues and seniors is necessary and raising your opinions in a respectful manner is also important. These aspects must be kept in mind while working in Singapore, be it for a business owner or an employee.
Singaporean work culture is very competitive, workaholic, and saturated. Singapore’s work culture prioritizes groups rather than individuals. Singapore’s workplace culture places more value on collective rather than individual accomplishments and activities.
The normal working hours in Singapore are about 9 hours per day or 48 hours per week and the maximum working hours in a day are 12 hours. Singaporeans are workaholics and generally tend to work 2 hours of overtime on a daily basis.
Singaporeans follow a hierarchical structure of work which places a focus on respecting authority. Unlike most of the countries in the West, the staff cannot exchange their ideas and opinions openly with their colleagues and managers. The decision-making always lies in the hands of people in higher positions.
Businesses and start-ups in Singapore are constantly increasing in number. Due to this, the work environment in Singapore has become very competitive. There is competition for both, the business owner as well as the employee, and they should be ready to work under a lot of pressure and with excessive saturation in the market.
The dress code in Singapore workplaces is generally business casual. This means that men should wear collared shirts and pants, while women should wear skirts or pantsuits.
No, Working in Singapoore is not a hard task. You just need to enjoy your work.