A typical workday for a Singaporean starts at 9AM and ends at 6PM, with an hour lunch break in between.
Now I’m sure no one actually works for a full 480 minutes. You go for one too many coffee breaks, surf Facebook, scroll through Instagram, Snapchat your other equally-bored colleagues, discuss lunch and office politics on the company messenger, or shop online. In fact, some tell me the bulk of their wardrobes are purchased during office hours!
And there’s reason to keep that up: according to a 2009 study conducted by National University of Singapore researchers Don Chen and Vivien Lim, web surfers were found to be significantly more productive and effective at handling tasks than those who did no surfing at all.
So while it might not be a sin to have a chill-out moment during working hours, it is bad if you find yourself doing everything else BUT work.
So here are a few web suggestions that are just enough to get you through work, but not out of work.
1. OKJ Discoveries
OKJ stands for Ong Kah Jing, the author of this mind-blowing page. This website was started in 2013, and was borne out of OKJ’s passion for documentary-type material, information and knowledge (think BBC and the History Channel).
I recommend scrolling through ‘Mind Bombs’ — page after page of whacked out world facts that no one really thought of thinking about. I mean, hidden mass graves and albino animals?!
This geek site might not be everybody’s cup of tea, but it is definitely good mind stimulation to keep you wide-eyed for the rest of the day.
This is for all the OLs (Office Ladies) out there who are spending way too much time deciding if your online lust is worth carting out. So much so that it’s taking over your mind and impeding your progress at work. A page meant for blogshop product reviews, this site ensures that any shopping done at work is carried out as efficiently as possible. After all, you never know when your boss will be on the prowl.
It also informs you of the odd drama that takes place in the blogshop sphere, if you’re looking to add some extra spice to your afternoon.
3. The Heart Truths
Some may abhor this suggestion simply because the author of this sociopolitical blog is none other than Singaporean activist and blogger, Roy Ngerng. Ironically, his claim to fame was defaming Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong through blog posts alleging that there was a misappropriation of funds placed in the CPF.
This Nominated Member of Parliament wannabe has me hooked on his blog purely as a form of amusement. I mean, you have got to hand it to a guy who has devoted his life to hating on the PAP by carefully curating a gallery of unflattering PM Lee headshots and micro-analysing every word uttered by a PAP politician. This is as exciting as a bottom-up political drama of 21st century Singapore can get.
So pop some popcorn in your office microwave, and enjoy an entry a day.
The TED video series is good for office chill time for a number of reasons:
Firstly, each video is of a decent length — not too long, not too short; just the right amount to help you unwind a little without looking like you’re skiving. Secondly, they’re inspirational, so that means more drive to do work! Also, if your boss walks past and sees you watching TED…he’ll probably join in too.
5. The Travelling Light
If you’re stuck at work feeling uninspired by the task at hand, and are finding yourself counting down to the next long weekend, then perhaps travelogues are your best bet for short-term relief. After all, who doesn’t like a good vacation?
This space isn’t your typical travel blog with long entries about what to eat or where to go. No, this space IS the travel. The stunning visuals and sparse words should temporarily sate that wanderlust and keep you motivated till your next break. Or if you’ve already got your leave approved, then this site will give you more reason to plough through those remaining tiresome days till you jet off.
6. Missing Persons
Any time is the best time for a good deed.
So spend a while scrolling through the missing persons list. Every boss appreciates a Good Samaritan as an employee.
7. We Are Singapore
Everyone gets a little bored and distracted at work now and then. But if you realise you are becoming more and more disengaged with the content of your work, then chances are it’s high time to consider other career options.
We Are Singapore features a multitude of Singaporeans with extraordinary pursuits. Extraordinary because most of these young entrepreneurs quit their full-time jobs with stable incomes to follow larger-than-life dreams, albeit knowing the hardships that would ensue.
It’s a calling many Singaporeans have picked up on, and who knows? You might just be inspired to take that leap and become the next big feature on this website.
So there you go, 7 web reads to make your Monday Blues to Friday Frenzy a little easier on your hardworking soul.