Study shows that Singapore professionals are world’s least productive


A new study shows that Singapore professionals are the world’s least productive, with office workers spending only 60% of their time on primary tasks and roughly 380 hours a year (about 47.5 work days or one-fifth of the working year) completing administrative or repetitive tasks, such as manually collating and entering data, tracking project status, handling invoices and submitting expenses.

The study, released by enterprise applications provider, Unit4, shows that this is significantly less compared to the global average where professionals spend at least 72% of their working hours on their job functions.

This means that excessive administration has led to an estimated productivity loss valued at S$36.5 billion in Singapore alone.

It was also revealed that on average, those above the age of 41 report that they spend more time of their primary functions as opposed to those between the ages of 26 and 30.

Unit4 CEO , Stephan Sieber, said: “Left unchanged, this productivity issue could be crippling for business, particularly services organisations who rely on the strengths and output of their people.”

On whether they would trust technology to take care of administrative tasks, office workers in Singapore, 83% said they would. Over 70% felt productivity would soar while 69% felt it would improve their level of happiness would rise.


  1. One person need to do three or four person job in Singapore due to cut cost. One staff resign you take over their job. What productivity you are talking about.

    • You need to know that you must take over the resign person or persons job. If you refuse you will be the next to go. In place your employer can replace you with 5 Indians or Pinynos..

    • However, as for the government ministries, you have three or four ministers manning each ministry; think Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health. And…..they get paid millions to boot. KNN

  2. Please check your data properly the ratio Singaporeans and foreigners working in the same office and don’t anyhow rate about Singaporeans. You pay peanuts and you get monkies.

  3. AI can take over most of these administrative functions and free up office workers to focus on their core job functions. Unfortunately, a lot will then be retrenched as they are redundant, unless they are open to learning new skills.

  4. Work 9-6 what do you expect? Bastard bosses that would demand face-time even when it’s clear that employees are already pretending to do work from 3-6pm. Asshole managers that insist on “rewarding” productive workers by giving them more work. Useless meetings that would take up unnecessary time and kill energy. Hopeless transport system leading to most workers feeling like they have ran a marathon before they even start the work day. Draconian system reinforcing the concept of the pathetic one hour lunch break! Flexi work frowned on. Very miserable amount of leave and public holidays. Employers do not trust workers who call in sick and would force them to get MC, not knowing that many just need a day to rest and may not need medication. Terrible weather yet most dumb Organisations would insist you wear Long sleeve and even jacket and tie (yes, screw the bloody legal industry). Incompetent and overpaid expats exploiting local subjects. Weak and compliant workers who refuse to fight back legally because they fear losing their “iron rice bowl”. Hopeless and inadequate leisure options in this sterile and pragmatic state governed by moronic simpletons. Why are we even surprised??

  5. Thanks to our Garmen and its control of its people in creativity thinking and expression. Adding to that an education system that’s base on marks then a person aptitude and views. So it just goes on and on every generation thinking this is the best method. So they churn out Goondoos and non lateral thinking people. So sad and after 40 yrs it’s still the same every since my school days.

  6. All abt the face time, managers r mainly self serving and Taichi masters,colleagues full of backstabbers-lazy farts and office politics, underemployed, underpaid , unappreciated, poor career prospects, amdk , favours them even though many are just as imcompetent and just all hot air, so work so hard for wat

  7. There are 2 countries. In one the children learn at their own pace, there is no hothousing, they can be children, even take a year off during college to travel, are taught to think and question etc. The children become innovative and future Nobel prize winners.
    In the second country, children have no childhood, they are forced to learn by rote, exams are do or die affairs, have to undergo the trauma of PSLE, are streamed into courses at immature ages depending on ephemeral exam results, given no time to develop, perform NS which is more regimentation and discipline for their adult lives, doing mundane jobs they do not care for. The list goes on
    Any wonder then that they become zombies? You can guess which countries they are.

  8. Study is based on sample polls or study; it is not accurate.
    We excell in the last 50 years.
    Let each and every Singaporeans stand together and make Singapore double our sucess in the next 50 years.

    • Check if the survey is a nationally rep smaple of workers (equal prportions). We market research folks will be out of a job without applyng statistical sampling methods.

    • 3rd world FT workers are also those working in singapore, mah! Everyday I see them yak yak yak on their mobile and drink chai every hour..where got productive? Unlike 30 years ago, most white collars were SG workers.

    • Sas Karma, thank you; your observation is right. I blame their local employers for not measuring their output; S’pore don’t have enough people to do the work .
      Foreign companies bring in their own citizens to fill top positions of of white collar jobs.

  9. Let us not forget the data is based on have mostly employees who are not native to Singapore at all. That is the problem with not having a minimum wage or a LIving Wage. You pay peanuts you get monkeys.

  10. So? Never mind. We have the best education system in the world. It is just too bad we are too stupid and lack skills to get better jobs that do not require us to do mundane stuff like data entry.

  11. CB government encourage this type of survey to put SG’rean down to support pinky’s n gang ‘s “Open leg policy” ! Instead of fixing opposition n critic , they should sue this type of survey Company till pant drop ! Will they do that??

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