productive, productivity, mlieu


Data shows that 81% of those surveyed in Indonesia are most productive in the first half of the day, followed by those in Thailand (73%), Singapore (71%), Vietnam (70%), and the Philippines (66%).

Have you ever wondered which time of the day works best to hold meetings with your employees, or whether to be flexible you should be with break hours, to ensure they remain engaged?

According to recent surveys by Milieu Insight, the best time of day could be the first half, and yes — flexibility in break hours does help.

The data revealed the following:

When are employees most productive in a typical workday?

priya mar 2022 mileuinsights productivity provided 

A majority of employees surveyed (72%) said they were most productive in the first half of the workday, i.e. between 8am to 12.59pm — a sharp contrast compared to those who cited the second half (19%, 1pm - 6.59pm).

Looking at the market-specific data, 81% of employees surveyed in Indonesia are most productive in the first half of the day, followed by those in Thailand (73%), Singapore (71%), Vietnam (70%), and the Philippines (66%).

Among the respondents who cited the second half of the day as their most productive hours, an equal representation was seen in Thailand and Singapore (23% each), 18% in Vietnam, 16% in the Philippines, and 15% in Indonesia.

In the same vein, the surveys also found that employees are typically productive for five to six hours a day, with close to half (45%) indicating so. Meanwhile, one in four (25%) said they are typically productive for seven to eight hours; 22% said two to four hours; 7% said more than eight hours, and a much lower 1% said less than two hours.

What non-work-related activities are employees spending time on during working hours?

priya mar 2022 mileuinsights non work related activities provided

Most employees (64%) surveyed find themselves browsing social media (not for work) during working hours, with Thailand having the highest number who do so (72%). This is followed by respondents in Vietnam (67%), Indonesia (64%), the Philippines (60%), and Singapore (56%). 

Apart from the above, if you find yourself reaching for that snack in your drawer, or walking to the fridge pretty often, then you may resonate with the 45% of respondents who spend most of their working time eating snacks. 

The surveys also revealed an interesting activity that employees partake in, made possible with many companies still on hybrid or work-from-home arrangements — house chores. In particular, 17% spend some time during their workday on house chores; by market, this included 27% in Indonesia; 21% in the Philippines; 19% in Singapore; 10% in Vietnam, and 7% in Thailand. Well, ask some of us at HRO what we do during lunchtime while working from home, and don't be surprised if 'house chores' is part of the response.

Would the flexibility to take breaks when needed help employees?

No doubt, it is impossible for employees to be 100% productive on a daily basis, and even impossible for all to take breaks uniformly. After all, while some may prefer one long break (e.g. lunch hour) during working hours, others may prefer small bouts of breaks throughout the workday.

Thus, some flexibility in break timings/expectations could help address these differing needs.

The surveys showed:

  • Percentage of employees who prefer one long break (most to least)
    • The Philippines: 57%
    • Thailand: 51%
    • Vietnam: 48%
    • Indonesia: 46%
    • Singapore: 39%
  • Percentage of employees who prefer many small breaks (most to least)
    • Singapore: 61%
    • Indonesia: 54%
    • Vietnam: 52%
    • Thailand: 49%
    • The Philippines: 43%

The above findings were derived based on Milieu surveys involving 2,500 full-time employees in Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam (500 per market) on their productivity levels in a typical workday, and how much of the time that they spend on non-work activities. The survey was conducted in January 2022.

ALSO READ: Our most recent features with leaders who are helping boost productivity in their workforce

How Sinar Mas Mining grew productivity by 30% by focusing on wellbeing
How CAG creates a create a safe and productive workplace for its people
Prioritising passion over productivity is how to replace the 'hustle culture': Dropbox's Head of Asia

Lead image & infographics / Provided by Mileu Insight

Follow us on Telegram and on Instagram @humanresourcesonline for all the latest HR and manpower news from around the region!