Thursday, February 11, 2010

Peer Pressure To Stay Back Late in Office

I read with interest Mr Tan Kin Lian's blog post about Singaporean workers facing pressure from peers to stay back late in office even when they have no work to do.

I must admit that this peer pressure to stay late is indeed VERY TRUE in Singapore. One feels obligated to stay back late especially when other colleagues seem to be rushing for some important work that was needed yesterday.

In my previous job, I remember the countless hours I have stayed back late because colleagues stayed back late. In fact, I am not too sure whether they were even doing work. Maybe they stayed back late BECAUSE I was staying back late because I thought they were staying late.....You get the drift...

So it is just peer pressure to stay back late. It seriously affects productivity and does not make sense.

After some time, I reasoned that I did not have to rush my work during the day as I would most probably have to stay back late after all. So I simply took my own sweet time to do my work.

This peer pressure thing is indeed TOXIC. We should all have the guts to look at the clock strike at 5 or 6pm and shout out loud: "OKAY FOLKS, I AM GOING HOME!"

(The repurcussion is perhaps tons of work piled up on your desk the next morning for you as your boss will think you are SUPER FREE)

I think this is crazy and one possible solution is to establish Overtime Pay (OT Pay). In this way, bosses will want employees to go back home on time so that it does not result in additional costs to the company.

The same should be implemented for the civil service whereby a variable component is added to their pay structure and they are paid additional amounts based on the OT work that they have done.

This is only right and fair. If there is really SO MUCH work to be done under such tight deadlines, then it is only right that more people are employed to share the burden.

Making employees reach home at 7 plus to 10 plus everyday is simply unacceptable.

I wonder whether people out there are still facing this kind of peer pressure?


  1. My girlfriend taught in 3 different schools before, and all the schools are like that, which is quite dumb.

    Fortunately for me, no such things happening in my company, in my department. As long as we finish on time, I walked out saying bye bye to everyone some more. That's what might make me stay long term in this company after all; it's the actual work you do, not the apparent work you are doing.

    Perhaps I just didn't bother. Usually one will want to be seen as very hardworking so that one will get promoted faster. But my greatest income source now does not come from my full time job, so that could be a reason why I more bo chup...

  2. So be a PIG in the office.

  3. you mean teachers also face this kind of peer pressure to stay back late in school? I always thought that they just brought back their work to mark at home.

  4. After the peer pressure, still more work to mark at home.

    Basically, teachers are underpaid. To make the teachers feel better that they have to work so hard (not just 8 to 5 because a lot of unseen work) for that little amount of pay, they are told that their rewards come not from monetary, but from seeing their students gain.

    It's a bunch of BS because most students don't care a damn. Teachers are to them just a tool to step on and get out.

  5. Well said JW. I feel that teachers should be given OT pay if made to work OT. In this way, principals will make sure that they get off work on time.

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