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Study Ranks Kuala Lumpur As 3rd Most Overworked City In The World

Study Ranks Kuala Lumpur As 3rd Most Overworked City In The World


8 August 2022

Working hard and striving for excellence isn't something out of the ordinary in Malaysian culture. But can we sometimes take things a little too far?
While old speculative comments often poked at a certain few careers that require more personal sacrifice than necessary, it seems as though the idea has run dry in the Malaysian workforce altogether.

From working on weekends to clocking in longer hours than actually stipulated in employment agreements, instances of overworking has become less and less uncommon.

As recently reported, a whopping 72% of Malaysians do not want to further their studies after concluding their SPM examinations. While many attribute this occurrence to people seeking out more 'glamorous' or fast-money jobs, could there be a contributing factor in the growing burnout rates and stressful work requirements in modern work culture?

According to a recent study published by an access technology firm, Kisi, Kuala Lumpur ranks third for most overworked cities in the world in 2022

Within the report, Kisi stipulated the use of multiple statistical variations, including the context of rampant inflation, fallout from the pandemic, and the recent war in Ukraine.

They stated, "By comparing data on work intensity, institutional support, legislation, and liveability, [the] study ranks cities based on their success in promoting work-life balance to their citizens."

It was revealed that Kuala Lumpur is the third most overworked city in the world, with Dubai and Hong Kong taking first and second place respectively. On the other hand, Oslo (Norway), Bern (Switzerland), and Helsinki (Finland) make up the top three spots for cities with the best work-life balance.

When discussing each metric that came into play for determining the overall outcome of the study, Kisi provided in-depth detail for each factor

While the main three categories of work intensity, society and institutions, and city liveability, came into play, they were further broken down into multiple other considerations:

Work Intensity
Includes remote working, overworked population, minimum vacations offered (in days), vacations taken (in days), unemployment rates, those with multiple jobs, inflation, and paid parental leave days.

Society and Institutions
Considers the impact of COVID-19, availability of COVID-19 support, healthcare provided by the city, access to mental healthcare, inclusivity, and tolerance.

City Liveability
Reviews affordability, city safety, outdoor spaces, air quality, wellness and fitness, as well as happiness, culture, and leisure.

Among some of the most shocking results relating to KL's ranking include an average of eight days for minimum vacation offered

On the flip side of the study, the Norwegian capital of Oslo tops the ranking with an average of 25 days vacation leave per year.

Furthermore, KL also bears a 30.7% for proportion of jobs that can be done remotely, in comparison to Singapore, which holds the highest percentile for this metric of all the 100 cities, at 52.06%. Nonetheless, Singapore still ranks at fourth for most overworked cities in the world, just behind Kuala Lumpur.

Going on their fourth year of conducting this study, this isn't the first time Kuala Lumpur has ranked as one of the most overworked cities in the world

Having recorded these similar statistics in the past, Kisi has reported that Kuala Lumpur ranked fourth in 2019 and 2020, eighth in 2021, and now third in 2022, the highest it has ever been on the most overworked list since the inception of the study three years ago.

Speaking on the overall findings in their results, a paragraph of the study stipulates, "Rather than being a liveability index or a ranking of the best cities to work in, the study seeks to show which cities provide the healthiest work-life balance for their citizens."

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