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Are you a happy worker? These Southeast Asian countries have the happiest workers

Are you a happy worker? These Southeast Asian countries have the happiest workers

Milieu Insight has presented the findings of their "Happiness at Work" survey based on more than 6,800 working professionals from Southeast Asia as part of worldwide festivities to commemorate the International Week of Happiness at Work (20 – 26 September 2021). (Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam).

Workplace happiness in Southeast Asia is uneven, with 35 percent of working professionals saying they're happier than a year ago, 26 percent saying they're less pleased, and the remaining 39 percent saying they haven't changed. In Thailand, respondents were more likely to be unhappy at work than they were a year ago (44 percent ).

Respondents in Indonesia (44%) and the Philippines (42%), on the other hand, were more likely to be happier today than they were a year ago. The majority of Singaporeans (41%) believe their level of happiness has remained unchanged from a year ago.

Keterangan Gambar (© Pemilik Gambar)
"Happiness at Work" Report (© Milieu Insight)

The following is the overall ranking.

For "I'm happier than a year ago"

*1.) Indonesia (44%)

*2.) Philippines (42%)

*3.) Vietnam (41%)

*4.) Malaysia (32%)

*5.) Singapore (31%)

*6.) Thailand (15%)


For "I feel the same as a year ago"

*1.) Malaysia (43%)

*2.) Indonesia (41%)

*3.) Singapore (41%)

*4.) Thailand (41%)

*5.) Vietnam (36%)

*6.) Philippines (35%)


For "I'm less happy than a year ago"

*1.) Thailand (44%)

*2.) Singapore (28%)

*3.) Malaysia (25%)

*4.) Vietnam (23%)

*5.) Philippines (23%)

*6.) Indonesia (15%)


The data is representative of all working adults aged 16 and up, and the margin of error at the 95 percent confidence level is +/- 2%. In September 2021, data was gathered.

According to the "Happiness at Work" poll, the following factors influence employees' overall happiness and unhappiness in Southeast Asia.

What are those aspects, if you're asked? They rated pay and relationships with coworkers first, with 42 percent each. Their current job situation, such as having a flexible work schedule, ranked high as well, with 35 percent of respondents choosing this option.

Notably, present work arrangements came in first place as the primary reason of dissatisfaction. The latter emphasizes that not all businesses have succeeded in adapting their work arrangements to a post-Covid environment, and that certain employees are less receptive to working from home.

And the other factors are: 

  1. Salary 
  2. Relationships with colleagues or other employees 
  3. Current working arrangement 
  4. Available opportunities for growth
  5. Company benefits
  6. Meaning behind the work
  7. Workload or amount of work given
  8. Relationships with clients or customers
  9. Level of appreciation received from the company
  10. Company culture


However, the thing that made employees the most unhappy with their work life (25 percent) was their current working arrangements, which is not surprising given the worldwide adoption of the work-from-home (WFH) culture during the last year and a half.

This element can also be deemed divisive, considering that 35 percent of respondents claimed they were satisfied with their existing working arrangements.

Employers that want to truly understand their employees' preferences for future work arrangements should gauge opinions personally, especially when there is mixed opinion on the WFH culture depending on who you ask these days.



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