According to the latest YouGov survey commissioned by HEINEKEN®, work has been cited as the top reason why Gen Zs and young millennial employees in Singapore and Malaysia ‘ghost’ their friends, significantly impacting their social life and relationship with friends and family. Partnering with Park Hyung-Sik, HEINEKEN® wants to raise awareness and remind employees of the importance of working responsibly and maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA 14 April 2023 – In our hyperconnected world today, it is easier than ever to connect with employees on their devices. There is a constant pressure to always be available, even while on-the-go, adding on to the hours that an employee overworks. Overworking is also often seen as a good sign of employees being successful in their career, especially in Asia, and this poses a challenge for employees in this fast-paced environment to dedicate time outside of work to socialise.
As a brand that has always stood for creating shared connections with others, HEINEKEN®’s latest Work Responsibly campaign partners with global Korean Actor Park Hyung-Sik to shed light on the overworking culture that is still commonplace in Singapore and Malaysia. Staying true to their enjoyment of life values, through this campaign, HEINEKEN® wants to remind Gen Zs and young millennials to work responsibly and not let their social life down by ‘ghosting’ their friends.
While ‘ghosting’ is a term typically used in dating, the phenomenon of friendship ‘ghosting’ is becoming increasingly common. There are many possible reasons why friends start to ‘ghost’ one another, but according to the latest YouGov survey commissioned by HEINEKEN®, work has been cited as the top reason (45%) why employees in Singapore and Malaysia ‘ghost’ their friends, with family commitments coming in at a close second (34.5%).
As part of HEINEKEN®’s latest #WorkResponsibly campaign, the brand has teamed up with globally renowned Korean Actor Park Hyung-Sik to release an unbranded video depicting paranormal occurrences within a bar setting. The intention behind this creative approach is to pique audience’s attention and lead them towards the campaign’s tongue in cheek tagline which emphasises the idea that a friend consumed by work is nothing but a ghost haunting the bar.
“Through this meaningful project by Heineken, we want to encourage employees to start working responsibly,” says Global Korean Actor Park Hyung Sik. “We should enjoy our social life and not let it be impacted by our work,” Park Hyung Sik added.
According to the survey, 46.5% of employees in Singapore and Malaysia have “ghosted” their friends due to work obligations. 54% shared that because of the lack of work-life balance, it has impacted their life significantly — 64.5% feel burned out at work, while 42.5% revealed that work has caused strains in their relationship with their friends and partners.
A Culture of Overworking and Presenteeism
Over the years, employers have been placing more effort on helping employees achieve work-life balance by implementing benefits such as extended annual leaves, mental wellness day off, and flexible working arrangements. However, the commissioned study by Heineken® shows that 33.5% of Singapore and Malaysia employees still find their social life significantly impacted due to work.
One reason for overworking that’s unique to not just Singapore and Malaysia but the entire APAC region is a workplace culture of presenteeism — the feeling of confusion and guilt over leaving work on time despite finishing the day’s work or feeling obligated to stay back at work until managers or seniors leave.
Employees Are Still Letting Their Social Life Down Due to Work Despite Enhanced Wellness Benefits
59% of employees in Singapore and Malaysia agree that while their employers value work-life balance and encourages them to take time off, they still do not see improvement in their social life and often find themselves ‘ghosting’ their friends due to work. This is because employees (68.5%) find themselves unable to reject extra work given to them — 73% are afraid to reject extra work because they were assigned by their seniors / managers while 41% are afraid that it will affect their promotions as they will be deemed as “lazy”.
Despite 88% of respondents acknowledged the beneficial impact of work-life balance on their social life, and 77.5% of employees in Singapore and Malaysia placing greater importance on achieving work-life balance and a sense of fulfilment, they continue to prioritise work over their social life. However, 88% believe that their organisations could help reduce overworking hours by doing more to encourage employees to have a healthier social life.
Together with Park Hyung-Sik, HEINEKEN® wants to encourage a refresh mindset towards this culture of overworking that is still prominent in Singapore and Malaysia, and remind Gen Zs and millennials of the importance of working responsibly and maintaining work-life balance.
As part of HEINEKEN®’s latest #WorkResponsibly campaign, there will be activations in Singapore and Malaysia to remind individuals to work responsibly and knock off work on time to socialise with friends. In Singapore, Heineken® Silver will be hosting ‘The Ghosted Bar‘ event on 19 April 2023 whereby attendees will have the chance to experience a range of ‘paranormal’ themed activities. In Malaysia, 40 ‘paranormal ghosted bar’ experiences will take place across the country.
“The #WorkResponsibly platform is raising awareness of the sensitive work-life balance issue around the world. Heineken has always encouraged and fostered socialisation and healthy human connections as we feel that workers need to embrace more social and leisure time. We’re thrilled to bring this platform to Singapore and Malaysia as a reminder to leave your duties on time and not let your social life fall behind,” says Bram Westenbrink, Global Head Heineken Brand.
More information on the most recent study commissioned by HEINEKEN® to better understand how overworking has impacted employees’ social life can be found here.
More information on HEINEKEN®’s #WorkResponsibly campaign activations in Singapore and Malaysia can be found here.
The findings from this release are the result of a survey conducted by YouGov in March 2023. The sample consisted of a nationally representative sample of 1,000+ Singaporeans and 1,000+ Malaysians (aged 18 – 58). Following the completion of the survey, the data was weighted by age, gender and region to reflect the latest population estimates.