work culture in indonesia

Understanding Work Culture in Indonesia: A Guide for Foreign Employers

  • InCorp Editorial Team
  • 4 October 2021
  • 4 minute reading time

Indonesia’s demographic dividend remains promising as over 70% of its total population is categorized into the working-age group (15-64 years old), accompanied by a decline in the birth rate in 2020. Moreover, the government is planning on improving the talent management for the working-age group to provide skilled human resources for both local and foreign companies operating in the country.

For companies to operate smoothly with the local talent, it is imperative for them to understand the work culture in Indonesia. This article will deal with various aspects of recruiting in Indonesia.

Why Foreign Employers Should Consider Investing in Indonesia Talent Pool?

The Government Initiatives to Improve Indonesian Talent Management

The Indonesian government is presently working on a major plan to create the National Talent Management body (MTN). It is focused on improving three major areas: research and development, arts and culture, and sports.

National Talent Management will assume a paramount role in attracting, retaining, and developing the talent pool. Personal growth, life management, and post-retirement management will also be handled with utmost responsibility by the body.

Tech Startups are Reshaping Indonesian Talent Pool

The majority of Indonesians recognize the impact of technological advancement on their employment and seek upskilling and reskilling to address the skill gap. Furthermore, as a result of the country’s growing tech startup culture, the youth is increasingly pivoting towards entrepreneurship. Prominent young Indonesian entrepreneurs have proven that small startups can grow into profitable businesses that will also boost the country’s economy.

Foreign Companies can capitalize on Indonesians’ entrepreneurial spirit to expand and reap greater yields since this mentality is often associated with a high sense of ownership for one’s work and learning experience.

Understanding Work Culture in Indonesia

In addition to the technical skills, foreign employers must take into account the work culture in Indonesia and its influence on the operation of the company before recruiting Indonesian talent.

Work Culture in Indonesia’s Typical Workplace

Dodging Conflicts

Indonesian employers make every effort to avoid conflicts of any type to establish a peaceful environment in the workplace.

Friendly Workspace

An Indonesian workplace is a peaceful and friendly environment where the co-workers don’t hesitate to ask personal questions and form friendships.


Punctuality is highly valued and appreciated as it portrays a sense of responsibility in the individual.


Indonesian employees strive to be helpful and pleasant, to understand one another. Saying ‘Thank You’ is considered a positive attribute because it demonstrates gratitude.

Criticisms in Private

To respect the pride and integrity of an employee, there is a culture of private criticism in an Indonesian workplace.

Respecting the Head

In an Indonesian workplace, the employees must be aware of who their superiors are, and greeting them first is considered a positive behavior.

Approaching Seniors

The Indonesians are aware of the significance of their superiors. They address superiors, not with first or last names but with appropriate titles, such as “Bapak” meaning “Sir” or “Ibu,” meaning “Ma’am.”

Appeasing Leaders

There is a culture of making the leaders happy in an Indonesian workplace, where subordinates don’t question or talk back out of respect.

Firm Handshakes

Seniors in Indonesia are initially offered handshakes, although the tradition might differ between companies. It is typical in Indonesia to handshake with a little pressure.


The staff must be professional in all situations throughout working hours, while being helpful, pleasant, and good team members, and avoiding gossip to dodge problems.

Simplify Talent Recruitment with HR Outsourcing Service in Indonesia

Having an in-house HR department adds to the management stress, moreover requires time and resources to train the personnel. Thus, most companies are now looking for efficient options, like outsourcing their HR functions to specialists to ensure that their organization is compliant.

By partnering with an HR outsourcing provider in Indonesia, a company can recruit desired employees, stay on top of legal regulations, cut costs and time-consuming operations in the HR department.

Cekindo As Your HR Outsourcing Partner

As one of the prime HR outsourcing providers in Indonesia, Cekindo understands the impact of discovering the right talent and effective management of HR functions. These important HR processes, though wearisome, will significantly impact your eventual success.

Our on-demand model of HR outsourcing in Indonesia will deliver unparalleled HR services to clients across all industries and businesses, enabling your company to grow more rapidly and effectively.

Get the best talent and HR services for your company with Cekindo. Our HR specialists will ensure you get the perfect candidate and take care of all your taxing HR functions.

Pandu Biasramadhan

Senior Consulting Manager at InCorp Indonesia

An expert for more than 10 years, Pandu Biasramadhan, has an extensive background in providing top-quality and comprehensive business solutions for enterprises in Indonesia and managing regional partnership channels across Southeast Asia.

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