In the 10th annual state of work-life balance survey by Community Business, 61.8% of Hong Kongers say work-life balance has gotten worse compared to 10 years ago.
The survey was sponsored by Hysan Development Company Limited and commissioned to the public opinion programme, University of Hong Kong.
It surveyed more than than 1,000 employees, aged 15 or above, working full-time in Hong Kong through phone interviews.
The report highlighted an overwhelming 85.0% of employees stated that being able to manage their work and personal responsibilities according to their own schedule is either quite important or very import to achieving work-life balance.
However, it found employers are not doing enough to support work-life balance, with almost half of local companies (47.8%) saying they are still reluctant to move to a 5-day work week.
“Changes in the macro business environment have put a strain on both employers and employees, which has resulted in the worsening perception of Hong Kong’s work-life balance even though more companies today value work-life balance and appreciate it as an important business issue,” said Fern Ngai, CEO of Community Business.
The findings indicate that although Hong Kong’s employers are starting to better understand that work-life balance is a business imperative, employees are far from satisfied with their work-life balance.
“Employers cannot ignore this, or else they risk disengaging their staff and losing talent. This is particularly true for the Millennial generation who dare to challenge the status quo, are vocal about their needs, and are more likely to consider quitting to pursue better work-life balance.” said Ngai.
To reap the benefits of work-life balance, Ngai advised companies to shift from offering initiatives on a one-off basis or as token gestures of goodwill, to a more strategic approach that integrates such activities into routine business practice.
“With signs that work-life balance is recognised as a joint responsibility between employers and employees, and the shifting workforce demographics driving positive change, I am optimistic that the state of work-life balance in Hong Kong will continue to improve,” she said.