This year is a bumper year of long weekends. According to the Manpower Ministry’s Singapore public holidays list, there will be 11 public holidays and 7 long weekends this year. This is more than 2022’s 6 long weekends.
Before you start harassing your HR manager or start going into the company leave application system to block out the dates before your colleagues beat you to it – maybe it is better for you to take a deep breath and think carefully about the days you wish to take first.
Holiday hacks to “disappear from work for 36 days this year” by maximising out all the long weekends sounds really promising to those who are daydreaming about their next holiday. However, bear in mind that these “traps” can potentially put you in the danger zone at work, and also your wallet.
Singapore Public Holidays 2023
|1 January 2023||Sunday||New Year’s Day|
|22 January 2023
23 January 2023
|Chinese New Year|
|7 April 2023||Friday||Good Friday|
|22 April 2023||Saturday||Hari Raya Puasa|
|1 May 2023||Monday||Labour Day|
|2 June 2023||Friday||Vesak Day|
|29 June 2023||Thursday||Hari Raya Haji|
|9 August 2023||Wednesday||National Day|
|12 November 2023||Sunday||Deepavali|
|25 December 2023||Monday||Christmas Day|
Read Also: 4-Day Work Week: Is it the Most Ideal Work Arrangement?
Economic Uncertainty This Year: Singapore’s GDP Expected To Slow To 0.5% – 2.5%
It’s a mixed economic bag in 2023, with some sectors facing headwinds and others getting a boost. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rates in most major economies are expected to moderate further from 2022 levels, with sharp slowdowns projected in the US and Eurozone.
Outward-oriented sectors like semiconductors, wholesale trade, and insurance are expected to weaken in growth as external demand conditions weaken. Tech sectors may also continue with their layoffs to rebalance the dip in post-pandemic demand.
Meanwhile, growth in sectors like aviation and tourism will be supported by the continued recovery in air travel.
As the economy is showing uneven growth, this will translate to uncertainty over jobs for some sectors. Employees who are in troubled or challenged sectors should double down and really work harder instead of taking leave and “disappearing” for long weekends.
For Sectors That Are Doing Well, You Will Get Busier Than Usual Amid Post-Covid Growth
Some markets are on the mend and all arms are needed on deck. This includes (other than air travel-related sectors) arts, entertainment and recreation as people head out more for activities. Consumer-facing sectors like food and beverage services and the professional services sector will also get busier as demand rebounds.
There are also companies that have been planning to internationalise but could not during the pandemic – they will spring into action as the borders reopen and ramp up in capabilities.
If your company falls into these categories, be prepared to get busier than usual for sure.
If you take leave often there is a chance you might not be able to finish your projects and campaigns in time. This will affect your work performance, especially more so if you “disappear” every long weekend.
Airfare Prices To Spike During Long Weekends
Airline companies will catch on to the wave during these long breaks too, anticipating that some people will opt to travel instead of staying put in Singapore during the long weekend holidays and raise the prices of their tickets.
The prices will rise as well due to increased demand for travel during these periods. If you want to travel, you will have to pay more for your tickets.
If you can travel any time of the year, why not consider travelling during non-peak periods instead (months that are not March, June, September, or December when school holidays usually occur). You will be able to pay for cheaper air tickets and accommodation. Another bonus is that the travel destination will not be as crowded too, as most countries follow the same term break periods.
More Crowded Malls, Eateries, And Attractions When Everyone Is Not Working
If everyone is out to play, this will mean that recreational places including malls, eateries, and attractions will be crowded.
Your shopping and eating experience will not be as relaxed as you will compete for space with people who also want the same things.
If you don’t like to queue for things as well as squeeze with people in crowded lifts and public transport, it will be better to just work that weekday before the public holiday weekend. Your office duties might be slower anyway since some colleagues are away, so it will be a more “leisurely” day at work.
Read Also: How Singaporean Workers Can Redefine The Future Of Work
No One Is Around To Do The Work
Teams that require teamwork or task clearance from other departments will hit a stone wall. For example, if you send out a report to a group of respondents for a project, you will get a flurry of out-of-office email alerts in return and perhaps no response to the email task request until people return to their desks after the long weekend.
Some teams do require at least 1 staffer to be on standby at all times to address queries or tasks that are on hand. Such a setup creates problems if the same teammates keep taking leave for long weekends, leaving those who are constantly covering the duties to feel overworked.
Some Co-Workers May Need To Take Leave More Than You
Your colleagues are likely to be in different phases of their lives. Some may be raising young families while others are caring for their elderly parents. Before you take leave for the long weekend, do consider that some of them may need to take leave more than you on some weekends (especially for those with children during the school holidays).
The public holidays often fall on religious holidays too. It will be wise to give up certain dates to your colleague if he/she is celebrating the religious day. You have to give and take when it comes to taking leaves among your colleagues, so as to maintain peaceful vibes at work.
Focus On Quality Leaves, Not Quantity
Instead of taking 1-2 days of leave on every long weekend to “maximise” your off days, and end up having to deal with passive aggressive reactions from your co-workers, why not focus on taking quality leaves instead.
One way to do so is to take a 2 to 3 week long break instead, where you use up maximum 1 long weekend plus your own leave days.
When you take a long break, it’s akin to a semi-sabbatical and you can really take time to decompress from work stress and emails. Even if you need to check in at work once in a while, remotely logging on overseas will feel very different from actual work as you sip your coffee from a foreign café.
With a longer break, you can also travel overseas for more days, which makes the costlier airfare more worthwhile. It’s also more fun to plan the itinerary when travelling for a longer time.
If you don’t plan to travel, staying home for a few weeks is also a good treat for you. It’s akin to creating your own term break and taking time off for yourself. You can read a book, or take up that hobby you have been putting off.
Read Also: I Tried Work-From-Anywhere: It Was Great, But It’s Definitely Not WFH
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