Time to consider shorter working hours

While embracing change and re-skilling ourselves to adapt to a new tomorrow is the way to go, labour laws and policies can be tweaked as well ("Drift towards populism 'not inevitable'"; Jan 8).

For one, we could experiment with shortening the working hours.

Economist John Keynes once predicted that technological advancements and productivity gains would make a 15-hour work week possible.

Researchers have also found that shorter working hours actually increase the overall productivity of employees.

But despite our advancements, we have not seen a drop in working hours.

As Singapore is a financial hub between the East and West, there are definitely trade-offs with shorter working hours.

We could potentially lose one of these markets. We may also be less competitive than other countries which work longer hours.

However, these can be overcome by increasing overall productivity or splitting work schedules between two workers.

Perhaps, for a start, we could try reducing working hours from 44 hours a week to 42 hours.

Ng Chee Siang