The Top 10 Time Wasting Activities Singaporeans Love Doing at Work

Jeff Cuellar



Working in Singapore sucks. That’s not just my opinion either. It’s the opinion of many Singapore workers who took part in the Kelly Global Workforce Index™, which grades employers around the world on a scale of 1-10.

What score did Singapore bosses earn? It’s a borderline pass/fail depending on how you look at it – a 6.5 out of 10.

In fact, only 41% of Singaporeans said their bosses prepared them for the future and 46% said their efforts were recognized and rewarded.

I’d say those are pretty damn good reasons why Singaporeans love engaging in the following time wasting activities (that actually make work much more tolerable):


1. Facebook

By now, you’ve probably mastered the art of flipping back and forth between tabs on your browser and minimizing screens with the swiftness of a keyboard ninja – all so you could surf Facebook.

There’s no need to be embarrassed about it. Chances are good that as you’re reading this, the guy in the cubicle next to you or the girl sitting opposite your desk is hard at work surfing Facebook too.

Why shouldn’t you surf Facebook to check out the latest Doge meme, spy on your ex, or read the latest rage-inducing TRS article?

Your boss is probably doing it too.


2. Facebook Games

As if Facebook wasn’t addictive enough, there’s another time sucking tangent to the social media site that’s a favorite time waster among Singaporeans – Facebook games.

If you haven’t indulged in the various Facebook games (or annoying requests) yet, here are some of the top productivity-killing games available:

  • FarmVille2
  • 8 Ball Pool
  • Angry Birds Friends
  • Texas HoldEm Poker
  • Candy Crush
  • Diamond Dash
  • Criminal Case
  • Market Land


3. Whatsapp Group Chats

There’s nothing better than exchanging gossip, YouTube links, memes, and even the workplace location of your roving boss over Whatsapp group chat.

Is there any other special time-wasting power to Whatsapp group chat that isn’t mentioned above?

Not really. But it’s a great way to kill time with your compatriots whenever you’re pulling a late night of work, or you’re so efficient that you have nothing else better to do.


4. Smoke Breaks

Workers all across the globe partake in the sacred tradition of the smoke break. The frequency and length of the smoke break depends on how bad the workplace is.

The more prison-like the workplace, the longer the smoke break. Why? Because every smoke break is like a small celebration of freedom.

That’s because smoke breaks, with their stress-killing nicotine/menthol goodness, remind you that despite being “chained” to your slave master of a boss – you’re still a free man!


5. Coffee Breaks

If you’re a nonsmoker, your equivalent of a smoke break will be the coffee break. Like smoke breaks, it’s also an ancient tradition dating back several hundred years when the first traders brought coffee beans to our part of the world (No, that trader wasn’t Starbucks).

Yeah, coffee doesn’t taste particularly good (unless you add a copious amount of sugar and milk), but just like smoking, we do it because it makes work tolerable and reminds us that we’re still free men, even though we work like slaves.


6. Sleeping In the Toilet

You probably won’t admit to doing this, even if you just took a nap on the toilet today. But that’s alright, because I already know why you do it – because you have no other “peaceful” place to retreat to when you want to take a nap.

Depending on where you work and how populated your workplace is, you can easily grab 15-30 minutes of naptime in the restroom – until some jerk with a stomach ache decides to sit in the stall right next to yours.


7. Long Lunches

Most workplaces give you an hour to take your lunch break. If you’re unlucky enough to work in the Central Business District (CBD), you know that one  hour is really 15-20 minutes because of all the walking and waiting you must do for your meal.

What’s worse, depending on how much of an overseer your boss is, you might not be able to stay out for longer than an hour without getting an earful.

On the other hand, if your boss either isn’t too watchful of the clock or out of the office – it’s the perfect opportunity to kill time and take the extended lunch you deserve.


8. YouTube

YouTube was MADE for wasting time. You can watch it from either your work computer or your mobile phone. You can watch plenty of 2-3 minute clips throughout the day without arousing too much suspicion from your boss. And you can share YouTube links with your friends and colleagues in seconds.

Hell, if you had plenty of time to waste because you’re either super efficient at finishing work early – you can even watch whole TV show episodes or movies!


9. Online Shopping

What’s every Singaporean’s favorite pastime? SHOPPING! Then again, when you’re working 44+ hours a week in a high stress work environment, retail therapy is a necessity (plus, there’s a mall practically every 5km in Singapore).

The great thing about online shopping is that you can save yourself time, money, and the stress of visiting crowded shopping malls – all from the discomfort of your office desk (and at the expense of your work productivity).

Here are some of the most popular shopping sites time wasters enjoy visiting:


10. Playing 2048

I’ll be honest. I’ve never played the mobile phone game known as 2048. But from an observer’s standpoint, it appears to be as addictive as a narcotic drug. Seriously, I’ve been in MRT trains where almost everyone in the 15-35 age range was in a zombie-like state because of this ridiculous game.

But the MRT isn’t the only place I see this productivity killing plague taking hold – I’ve seen it in offices, hawker centers, and I even saw someone playing this damn game at the urinal!

Of all the activities on this list, I think getting too deep into 2048 is probably the time waster most likely to get you fired if you’re not careful.


Have any time wasting activities you’d love to add to this list? Tell us all about them here!

Image Credits:
Waleed Alzuhair

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Jeff Cuellar

I'm known by many titles: copywriter, published author, literary connoisseur, ex- U.S. Army intelligence analyst, and Champion of Capua.

Comments (1)

  1. I’m guilty of the shit-nap! lol

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