Before moving to Asia I had heard scary stories of ridiculous working hours and low productivity being a normal part of working life. However this still really surprised (and frustrated) me when I got my first job in Hong Kong where I witnessed this first hand.
I couldn't believe it was normal to get to work late, spend hours on social media, go out for dinner then come back to the office to do the work you should have been doing during the day!
While this obviously doesn't represent every company in Asia - thank goodness Aspire isn't one of them! - as YouGov's recent Omnibus shows, almost 6/10 Singaporean's questioned said they regularly stay late simply to 'show face' in an effort to boost their reputation within the company.
This makes me think, how does it make you look better to be in the office long into the evening especially if the level of work you are producing isn't exceptional? Surely working extra long hours while producing a low volume of work only highlights you as incredibly inefficient and therefore expendable to the business. Wouldn't it make more sense to show yourself as someone dynamic whose high productivity and excellent time management skills make you a natural choice for career progression?
Also - where is the all important work/life balance!
Of course sometimes working longer hours is necessary, but if you are staying late simply to 'show face' you are wasting both the company's time and your own. There is a reason 'work smarter not harder' is such a popular saying...
While there may be several reasons for staying back late, almost six in ten (61%) said the reason is ‘showing face’, or the practice of presenteeism – staying at work for longer than required to boost one’s own professional standing.