Fill in the blanks with appropriate forms of the verb given in the brackets.
Fill in the blanks
It is customary for Malaysians to work at least eight hours per day if they (1) work in an office. However, this is considered as long working hours in Europe. Working long hours (2) is common for most Asian countries, such as Singapore, Hong Kong, and South Korea – all countries with developing economies. Malaysia (3) has been ranked as one of the top countries with workaholic employees as they also work on holidays. (4) Does this reputation harm or benefit Malaysia? Japan and South Korea (5) have taken the initiative to reduce the number of working hours as they fear longer working hours may cause health problems and (6) reduce the quality of life for the workers. Nevertheless, if Malaysia reduces its working hours, productivity will suffer. The Malaysian economy largely (7) depends on a productive workforce. If working hours are decreased, workers may not be able to make up for lost hours or meet employer demands. It is also feared that employers will put more expectation on workers to complete their tasks in a fairly short deadline. Moreover, if employees (8) take long leave, it may reflect negatively on their careers. As one travel survey found, Malaysian employees take the least amount of leave for travel. The survey mentioned that this trend (9) is worrisome as taking annual leave for travelling is important for workers’ well-being. Malaysian employees are reluctant to take long work holidays because they have the option of carrying forward the unused leave to the next year calendar. Therefore, instead of reducing working hours for Malaysian workers, a more viable solution for their productivity and the economy of the country (10) is to allocate more hours for the lunch break, currently practiced by workers in Spain. The workers in Spain take a ‘siesta’, or a long break in the afternoon for resting and doing leisure activities after lunch, and they resume working at about 4 pm. Thus, reducing working hours may be counterproductive for the Malaysian economy in the long run.