Work a barrier to dating for one in two people in Singapore: survey

Singles taking part in a mass speed dating event in 2014.
Singles taking part in a mass speed dating event in 2014.PHOTO: SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT NETWORK

SINGAPORE - Work is getting in the way of love for many in Singapore.

One in two people here aged 18 and above find work to be a barrier to dating, a recent survey has found.

And to make matters worse, close to 65 per cent of respondents said they spend too much time at work.

This is according to findings released last week by online job portal STJobs and dating app Paktor.

Some 1,200 people from Singapore were polled online.

For young dating couples like IT engineer Vincent Lee, 27, and his civil servant girlfriend Olivia Chin, 24, work on weekdays often leaves them too tired to go on dates.

Said Mr Lee: "If we ever end work at around the same time, we will try to take the train back together."

But employers can find ways to accommodate their employees' relationships, said recruitment experts.

Ms Stella Tang, managing director at recruitment firm Robert Half Singapore, said such measures can help companies retain talent and improve employee loyalty.

"There may be blackout periods for taking leave when there are critical deadlines but, outside of these, employers can be more flexible so employees can take time off," she said.

The survey also found that with more time spent at work, people are more receptive to dating their colleagues.

Some 52 per cent of those polled said they would date someone working in the same company.

To address possible conflicts of interest that may arise as a result of this, Ms Tang said "an effective (company) policy response has to tread the line between respect for people's rights to privacy and autonomy, and the need for professional boundaries".

The survey also found that 15.3 per cent of respondents will date only someone earning more than them. Of these, 92 per cent are female and 8 per cent male.