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6 hopes and fears from Hong Kong's workforce for employers to know

6 hopes and fears from Hong Kong's workforce for employers to know

Two in four (44%) Hong Kong employees surveyed strongly believe that AI can help them to increase their productivity at work, as compared to their APAC (41%) and global (31%) counterparts.

As 2023 draws to a close, some regions of the world are showing signs of adapting to recent shifts in the way we interact with each other, while others continue to face ongoing challenges. This has pushed organisations to think of alternative ways to operate, such as implementing remote working while having a stronger digital focus.

Meanwhile, new challenges such as maintaining team cohesion in a remote working environment, have risen to the surface.

In August 2023, a survey of 53,912 employees across 46 countries was conducted to better understand how the global workforce is adapting to the new era and anticipating the future of work.

According to the survey, titled Hong Kong Workforce Hopes and Fears Survey 2023, these were the key insights highlighted by the respondents:

  • Future of work: Hybrid working, and AI were considered as the way forward.
  • Workforce and upskilling: There is a divide in opinion among employees on engagement and skills for the future.
  • Sustainability: Whilst having made great strides, Hong Kong still has a way to go in its journey of sustainability.

Conducted by PwC Hong Kong, the findings also feature a Hong Kong edition, based on the responses of 1,000 employees in Hong Kong SAR, including full-time, part-time, or contractual employees, as well as those who are currently unemployed.

Here, we’ve pulled statistics stacking the aspirations of Hong Kong employees to their APAC and global counterparts, under the three key issues listed above.

Here are the six hopes and fears of Hong Kong’s workforce based on the survey results:

Future of work

Hybrid working is more prevalent in Hong Kong employees as compared to APAC and global counterparts

Three in four (77%) Hong Kongers prefer hybrid working over working remotely or in person full-time. This is in contrast with their APAC (59%) and global (54%) peers. This bears good news, as per the data, a significantly larger fraction of Hong Kong employees is currently implementing a hybrid working model, therefore making hybrid working more prevalent in Hong Kong when compared to APAC and global employees.

Hong Kong employees foresee AI having more positive impact on their jobs

Two in five 44% of Hong Kong employees strongly believe that AI can help them to increase their productivity at work, as compared to their APAC (41%) and global (31%) counterparts. Furthermore, Hong Kong employees (30%) believe that AI will allow greater opportunities for them to learn valuable new skills.

Workforce and upskilling

Hong Kong employees are less likely to expect more opportunities to apply newly acquired skills

Compared to their APAC & global counterparts (both 48%), only 29% of Hong Kong employees feel that they have ample opportunities to showcase their skills. As the survey suggests, organisations can implement the following:

Schemes that could allow more opportunities for employees to upskill whilst simultaneously being productive.

  • Invest in resources such as rewards or career progression to incentivise employees to close the skill gap.
  • Provide interactive opportunities between top talents to work and learn from one another.
  • Refresh talent management strategy that identifies roles and responsibilities for employees to exercise their newly acquired skills. 

Only 32% of Hong Kong employees feel comfortable being themselves at work

APAC and global employees, on the other hand, weigh in at 52% and 53% respectively. The data explains that Hong Kong employees' level of satisfaction and inclusivity remain low. To combat this, based on the findings, organisations may want to encourage a workplace environment that allows opposing ideas to always be welcomed, and are seen as innovative rather than a hindrance. In addition, organisations may provide comfort for employees to be themselves.


Most Hong Kong employees feel that their company isn’t taking enough action against climate change

On a regional scale, only 38% of Hong Kong employees felt that their company was doing enough in the area of climate change, versus APAC (35%) and global (38%). The findings also show that Millennials (29%) and Gen X (34%) typically comprise this statistic. Furthermore, this sentiment had a tendency to be shared by those working in finance (51%), and government & public services (29%). On this aspect, organisations can instil more green initiatives and campaigns to encourage awareness of climate change, and therefore sparking a call to action.

42% of Hong Kong employees feel that the organisation they work for will not surpass 10 years if it continues along its current path

On this negative sentiment, respondents from APAC follow closely behind at 39%, and global at 31%. However, the doom-and-gloom sentiment isn’t all pervasive. In fact, 50% of Hong Kong employees do believe that their company could surpass at least 10 years on their current trajectory, matched by those in APAC (51%) and globally (59%).

Based on these findings, it is evident that Hong Kong employees split on how confident they are on their company being able to succeed in the long haul. To overcome this, the survey suggests that employers and business leaders could begin to openly, consistently, and transparently communicate the company’s culture to employees regularly.

Albert Lo, Advisory Consulting Financial Services Leader of PwC Hong Kong, said whilst companies are making great strides, the workforce in Hong Kong still has a way to go on its journey of sustainability.

He explained: “Business leaders and employers are encouraged to promote awareness and understanding across ESG issues, and consistently communicate the business strategy to ensure employees can confidently get on board for the journey.”

(The survey emphasises to interpret its findings with caution as the scope and numbers of the respondents are subject to the survey methodology.)

ALSO READ: Nearly half of Hong Kong employers surveyed looking to hire in Q4 2023

Lead photo / Hong Kong Workforce Hopes & Fears Survey 2023

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