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Oct 09, 2019 / 18:34

Vietnamese workers are more productive with flexible working hours

On the other hand, the Adecco survey reveals 78% of employers expect their staff to stay in the office all the time.

The majority of employees in Vietnam wish to have flexible working time to be productive while employers want to see their staff at the office, a recent survey shows.

Up to 83% of employees say that flexible working time will boost their productivity, according to the first edition of productivity survey at work in Vietnam by Adecco, a staffing solutions provider.

The survey investigates factors that impact on productivity under both employers and employees’ point of views, as well as providing the recommendations for improvement from Adecco experts. The research involved some 500 office workers and 200 respondents on the employer side in Vietnam.  

Since Vietnamese organizational culture requires staff to be always at the workplace during working hours, 54% of respondents usually or sometimes stay at work late even they have no tasks assigned.

Illustrative photo
Illustrative photo

On the other hand, the Adecco survey reveals 78% of employers expect their staff to stay in the office all the time. A third of employers think being physically in the office does not impact on productivity and employee morale, regardless of the fact it doesn't mean that people are actively contributing.

In fact, an employee is physically in the office doesn't mean that person is actively contributing. They admit that late afternoon is not their most energetic time, but morning (from 7 am to 11 am).

Regarding the employers’ side, more than half of them observe that their staff still come to the office when they are sick or not feeling well. An employee who is sick, exhausted, distraught, or distracted can easily cause problems for other colleagues. Similarly, the pressure to show their face causes people to continue to do this even if not being able to accomplish their tasks effectively.

Many interruptions around

Factors can distract Vietnamese professionals are emails, smartphone notifications or meetings. 55% of people receive 15 emails or above every day, particularly 14% have to read more than 40 emails. Too much information demands their attention and responses which cut into the time needed to get their jobs done.

Besides, 54% of them usually check their phones more than 10 times. Technology can generate addictive distraction for personal reasons or social media, considered a top concentration killer. Research from Inc. in this year reveals every interruption means at least 20 or so minutes of lost productivity.

A recent People Management survey suggests that all those hours devoted to meetings can equate to about 15% of employees' time at work. Meetings with no clear objective, inadequate time management or irrelevant attendee’s involvement negatively impact employee productivity. Alternatively, people prefer to schedule discussion only when absolutely crucial, rather than periodic meetings.

Productivity, after all, goes beyond working overtime or showing up at the office. When employees do not feel dynamic, they end up failing to accomplish the tasks they set out to do on time.

What can corporates do to improve productivity?

Improving management skill

While 40% of employees recognize that poor management lowers their productivity, up to 78% of employers are of the same mind.

General Director of Adecco Vietnam Andree Mangels advises: “Good managers respect and appreciate their employees, as well as provide necessary support for them to accomplish tasks effectively. Equipping employees with enough technology, knowledge and teamwork spirit can help foster the work speed and reduce future risks.  Furthermore, trust, inspiration and empowerment are also important for them to explore their full potential and present the best version of themselves at work.”

Increasing motivation at work

It has been proven in our study that three-fourths of workers admit that lack of motivation affects negatively to their engagement at work. Factors such as no opportunity for growth, not enough good benefits or not comfortable working environment leads to disappointment and reduce the work capacity from them.

Thanh Le, director of Ho Chi Minh City Office, Adecco Vietnam suggests: “Managers can create plan and road map for every job, as well as propose constant training programs and activities that encourage innovation among employees. This ensures locating right people on the right job and keeping them on track of development”.

Consequently, the corresponding level and skills of workers will positively impact on labor productivity growth in enterprises, according to the General Statistics Office of Vietnam.

Moreover, employees prefer to choose office (53%) or somewhere without distraction (31%) when they need their jobs done. For a better working environment, corporates can try to create a distraction-free workspace, speed up or cut back unnecessary meetings, enhance verbal communication and agree with employees on mutual working schedule.

Defining clear goal and KPIs

To focus more, 52% of employees usually attempt to mono-task and 37% set a limited time to finish it. Likewise, a majority of employees feel being unproductive because they do not know what expects them at work.

“Encouraging staff to write to-do lists, and at the same time providing specific objectives, timeline and KPIs in short and long-term can help employees concentrate on what they need to do. Rewards and benefits are also important to increase productivity, so a fair and transparent recognition policy needs to be created based on actual capabilities of the employees” suggested Ha Nguyen from Adecco Vietnam’s Hanoi Office.