Property firm wants workers to go back early


It pays to leave work early at property valuation firm GSK Global. Those who finish their tasks with few errors by 7pm every day are rewarded with pay rises, bonuses and more days off.

And they get fewer days off and little or no bonuses when they are inefficient.

“I get upset if I see employees staying in the office after 7pm,” said boss Eric Tan, 47. “It shows that they are either inefficient or are not focused.”

Unfortunately, there are not enough firms in Singapore that pay close attention to long working hours, said human resource analysts, employers and workers.

Far too often, firms demand results and neglect work processes, leading to extra-long work hours.

“Workers can get overwhelmed if they have many things to do. But not many bosses are giving them guidance in planning and prioritising their tasks,” said Singapore Human Resources Institute president Erman Tan.

The issue of excessive long hours causing more young professionals to burn out was highlighted in a Straits Times report earlier this week. Experts said the problem is that the work-life schemes at most firms, such as flexi-work and work-from-home options, offer flexibility but do not lead to shorter work hours.

Kurt Wee, president of the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises, said technology is more a bane than boon.

“You can be at home but still working all the time with your mobile phone or laptop. Of course, you won’t feel rested,” he said.

This is where bosses must step in, said analysts. A suggestion is to have rules on e-mail after work hours. France, for instance, announced last week that it will implement a law to stop some 250,000 workers in the technology and consultancy sectors from replying to e-mails after 6pm.

GSK Global’s Mr Tan said such rules are useful only if they are enforced. “When I see my staff talking about work in our company’s WhatsApp group or replying to e-mails in the evenings, I will tell them to stop.” — The Straits Times/ Asia News Network

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