2 in 5 Singapore workers get non-work-related requests from bosses

2 in 5 Singapore workers get non-work-related requests from bosses

(Singapore, 24 Oct 2013) You’re not alone if you’ve ever had ‘The Boss’s Personal Assistant’ unceremoniously added to your job description.

Nearly 2 in 5 Singapore workers (39%) have received requests from their bosses that have nothing to do with their main job scope. In addition, 21% of respondents say the requests were downright absurd. Interestingly, among those that reported such requests, 64% are still satisfied with their bosses.

The study was conducted from May to June 2013 and includes the responses of over 3,500 Singapore workers. Out of the hundreds of non-work-related requests reported, here is JobsCentral’s selection of the 20 Strangest Requests from Singapore Bosses:

  1. Worker was asked to swap her pink-colored stationeries with the boss’s blue ones. Her boss dislikes blue

  2. Worker was told to wait in her boss’s car and to look out for summons officers as the car was parked illegally

  3. Worker was asked to dress up as batman for a meeting with a client

  4. Worker was told by her boss to help her wash her cup because she was allergic to detergent

  5. Worker recounted that she had to queue for a balloon for her boss’s daughter. Her boss didn’t want to do it herself as the queue was too long and she wanted to have lunch

  6. Worker had to write a letter on behalf of her boss to her boss’s close friends who were dying

  7. Worker had to play mahjong with his boss through the night though he had to report to work early the next day

  8. Worker had to do homework for his boss’s children

  9. Worker was asked to find a girlfriend for his boss’s son

  10. Worker was asked to dance for his colleagues at a corporate Christmas party

  11. Worker was asked by her boss to find a dog that does not bark

  12. Worker was told to deliver a TV to his boss’s home and setup his Playstation

  13. Worker had to provide her boss with ‘live’ updates on game scores by the Singapore Table Tennis Women Team

  14. Worker was asked to identify a dead colleague at the morgue

  15. Female worker was asked to go on a date with the boss’s son

  16. Worker had to care for her boss’s pet over the holidays

  17. Worker was asked to find an auspicious day for her boss to move into a new office

  18. Worker was asked to take the rap for his boss’s traffic offence

  19. Worker was asked to translate lyrics to a song

  20. Worker was asked to book a hotel room using his own name and credit card then lie to the boss’s wife when she called the office

Who are the Bosses’ preferred ‘victims’?

Generation X workers are most likely to be called upon by bosses to do non-work-related tasks (41%). In addition, men are more likely than women to report taking on tasks outside their job description, at 42 per cent and 35 per cent respectively.

Workers from the private SME companies indicted the highest incidences of non-work-related requests. Further, when analysed by industry, bosses in the Construction industry (46%) have the least qualms about asking their subordinates to run personal errands, followed by Manufacturing (39%) and Services (38%) industries.


For a more detailed look at the figures, visit JobsCentral’s write up of the report.

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