1 in 10 spends 6 hours or less a week with family

Mr Yazid Abdul Rahman (left) and his wife Norizan Suef (2nd from right) with their children Irfean (from left), Izeanna, and Ireanni during Teck Ghee Lantern Night 2015 to celebrate the Mid-Autumn festival at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park.
PHOTO: The New Paper

SINGAPORE - Do you spend enough time with your family?

A recent survey by the Families for Life Council found out that one in 10 people here spent six hours or less each week with his or her immediate family. That works out to less than an hour each day.

The survey was conducted from January to March this year, and had more than 700 respondents. Survey methodology includes door-to-door, online and focus group discussions, the council said.

About half of the respondents spent more than 36 hours per week with their immediate family.

When it comes to their extended families, respondents said they spent even less time together. Half of the respondents spent two hours or less each week with their extended families, and only 3 per cent spent more than 36 hours a week with extended families.

The biggest barrier to families spending time together is - you guessed it - work.

Even though family, health, and financial stability - in that order - are the key priorities in life for Singaporeans, work is getting in the way of quality family time, respondents said.

Half of the respondents who felt that they were not spending enough time with their families said that their long working hours keep them away from their family; 34 per cent said other members in the family worked long hours.

So what is the most popular thing that families do when they get together? To eat, of course.

Having family meals together is at the top of the list of most popular activities. Celebrating family occasions and having heart-to-heart talks are in second and third spots respectively, followed by family vacations.

Respondents were generally happy with the state of their relationships with their family members. Nearly all of them felt that they have a good relationship with their children, that their family support each other readily, and think they have a strong emotional connection to their family.

About nine in 10 people felt that they spend enough quality time with their family.

See also: Working more than 3 days a week is hurting your brain: Research