'Singaporeans take their lunch breaks very seriously': Australian lawyer shares observations on work culture here

'Singaporeans take their lunch breaks very seriously': Australian lawyer shares observations on work culture here
PHOTO: TikTok/Niminthewild

For the past 15 months, Nim, who hails from Australia, has been living her life like a Singaporean. 

The lawyer moved to our garden city for work and over time, she's noticed a few differences between our work culture and what she's used to back home. 

Nim documented these observations in a TikTok video uploaded on March 21. 

The first point that she noted was the working hours here. 


"It is very normal to start work 9am, 9.30am, even 10am in some instances," she stated. "As a result, you probably won't leave work until 6.30pm or 7pm, though this is very industry specific." 

Although Nim did not state what working hours in Australia are like, a quick check online revealed that employees in Australia work up to 38 hours in a week, or seven hours and 36 minutes a day, with typical working hours from 9am to 5pm. 

Nim also noticed that while tropical Singapore is very hot, air-conditioned places such as offices and shopping malls are usually painfully cold. 

"You'll probably sweat outside and absolutely freeze in the office," she said, adding that this explains why she has a cardigan and rug at her desk to keep herself warm. 

Snacks, lunch breaks and flexible work hours 

Food-wise, Nim was appreciative that a wide variety of snacks are always on hand in the office. 

"You'll never be short of snacks. I have tried so many things that I otherwise wouldn't have purchased for myself if not for my amazing work colleagues who are always bringing in goodies." 

In fact, it could be Singaporeans' love for food which accounts for Nim's observation that lunch time here is "sacred". 

"You shouldn't try planning any meetings between 12pm to 2pm without asking. Singaporeans take their lunch breaks very seriously," she remarked, before adding: "I wish this was also the case in Australia." 

She also mentioned our flexible work arrangements which allows employees to work from home (WFH).

"Working from home is very much a part of the culture here and I don't see it changing anytime soon, if at all," she said. 

In the comments, several users passionately reaffirmed that Singaporeans take their lunch hour very seriously. 


One netizen even said that she left her previous job because of the strict one-hour lunch break. 

Another netizen who moved to Singapore from Germany shared that he was left flummoxed by how long locals take to have lunch. 

But he had no complaints. "I loved it! Awesome lunch everyday!" he said. 

With regard to work hours, some netizens pointed out that they actually start work at around 8am and not 10am. 

There were also several netizens who shared that they never had WFH privileges to begin with, or these had been scrapped. 

AsiaOne has reached out to Nim for more details. 

ALSO READ: Entrepreneur says employees should only work from 10am to 4pm


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