The Rise Of Workplace Stress In Singapore

By Kin Lim Lee
08 Jul 2019


Trend of Workplace Stress in Singapore
Singapore has been famously – or notoriously – known as an island city-state with high workplace stress. Maybe you drag your feet to work every day and feel that the office is a grim place to work. Maybe you do not like your job yet you stick with it because it is a means for you to put food on the table. If you are feeling stressed at work, you are not alone.

In fact, the rise of workplace stress in Singapore has been documented by Cigna, a health service company, in the 2019 Cigna 360 Well-Being Survey. Singaporeans are not only sleep deprived, they are also among the most stressed at work globally, based on the survey conducted.

As pointed out by Cigna Singapore CEO Ms. April Chang: “A busy work life, combined with an ‘always on’ culture, is impacting the physical and social well- being of Singaporeans.”

India, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria and Indonesia showed the strongest improvement in overall wellness, with a rise of between 2.1 and 4.4 percent, while the US, New Zealand, Taiwan and Singapore showed slight drops, with Singapore reporting the second largest fall of 1.7 percent in 2019 compared to the well-being index in 2018.

The survey collated about 13,200 responses from more than 24 countries, with a sample of 502 respondents in Singapore.

Causes of Workplace Stress in Singapore
Despite statistics from the Ministry of Manpower showing that the number of working hours in Singapore has been on a steady decline in general since 2010, Singapore workers remain among the hardest working in the world – at least going by the number of hours clocked.

By now, a revealing question to ask is this: "What are the factors that cause workplace stress in Singapore?”

Based on the independent survey commissioned by Robert Half on 100 CFOs in the financial services industry in Singapore in 2017, increased workload was the most cited (56 percent) cause of workplace stress in Singapore.

In addition, it was also found that 78 percent of Singaporean CFOs expect stress levels of their finance staff to rise over the next three years. While it is important to recognize the causes of workplace stress, it is crucial to address and solve these issues to improve employees’ wellbeing to positively impact business productivity and hence company success.

As stated by Matthieu Imbert-Bouchard, Managing Director of Robert Half Singapore: “Singapore has a global reputation for business excellence, with finance professionals working in a highly competitive marketplace. Yet long working hours, higher workloads combined with shorter deadlines and increased business expectations can cause stress levels to rise among Singapore’s workforce. It’s vital for the city-state’s bosses to not only recognize growing stress levels within their workspaces, but to actively address it.”