Home People & Planet The state of the workforce in Southeast Asia

The state of the workforce in Southeast Asia

The region’s workforce looks prepped to leverage on the post-pandemic push for recovery

Southeast Asia’s economy showed strong resilience amid the pandemic, particularly Vietnam and Singapore.

Vietnam was quick in bringing out testing, tracking and containment measures amid the pandemic, which helped limit the impact of the pandemic. It was also one of the first economies to reopen for business, even though it shared borders with China.

Meanwhile, Singapore was efficient in handling both the pandemic and businesses impacted by it. The nation state continues to attract investors from around the world. In fact, the second quarter of 2020 saw Singapore receive FDI amounting to $24,840.89 million.  

Gallup Analytics in its recently released report State of the Global Workplace 2022 report, explores how an employee’s work life is going in the region; their daily emotions when at work; and their views around ESG (environment, social and governance) and the job market in their country.

Employee engagement and life evaluation

Employee engagement among workers in Southeast Asia has been constant. Opportunities at work to learn and grow remain constant since 2020.

Exhibit 1: Percentage of employees who feel they had opportunities at work to learn and grow

Meanwhile, generally in terms of their life, how they personally feel, whether they are thriving or not, there has been a growth of 4% in employees from the region who feel they are thriving.

Exhibit 2: Percentage of employees who think they are thriving

Daily negative emotions

A very positive sign is that factors such as daily worry, stress, anger and sadness have all reduced among employees from the region. There is now 9% lesser people who do not worry a lot through the day.

Exhibit 3: Percentage of employees who feel worried most part of their day

The percentage of employees who go through feelings of stress a lot of the day has reduced by 5%, putting the percentage of stressed employees at 31% from the region. It is very less considering the global average stands at 44%.

A very high percentage, that is, 82% of employees feel that corruption is widespread among businesses located in the region.

Exhibit 4: Percentage of employees who agree that corruption is widespread among businesses in the region

Views on ESG

Nearly 7 out of 10 (68%) feel satisfied with the efforts made on preserving the environment. Although it is more than the global average of 61%, the percentage of employees satisfied with the environmental efforts have decreased by 4%.

Exhibit 5: Percentage of employees who are satisfied with efforts to preserve the environment

Job market

The job climate in the region appears strained as only 4 out of 10 (40%) employees, consider now a good time to find a job. There is a drop of 3% from 2020 values.

Exhibit 6: Percentage of employees who say that now is a good time to find a job

Overall the region looks well poised to push for post-pandemic growth as normalcy returns. This shift is evident from the recent uptick in investment activity and push towards new reforms that focuses on sustainability and resiliency. The pandemic has been a wake-up call, specifically for trade-dependent nations such as Singapore. The government has heeded this call and is actively investing in enhancing its digital economy possibilities for future readiness.

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