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Despite Hong Kong doing an admirable job in keeping local cases of infection low compared with some other countries around the world ? even with such a close proximity to the epicenter of the outbreak in Wuhan ? only a third of the city?s employees feel supported.

These are the findings of a joint study by Consumer Search Group (CSG) and market research firm Ruder Finn, which conducted the research to ascertain the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak in both Hong Kong and Singapore.

There is also a striking difference between the perceived support between Hong Kong and Singapore with the latter reporting that they felt a higher level of support from employers.

In an interesting contrast, just 38% of Hong Kong employees viewed their employers as supportive ? while 60% of employees in Singapore felt the same way. Conversely, while 20% of employees in Hong Kong believed their employers had provided inadequate support, just 5% of Singaporean employees felt the same. (fig 1)

Attitudes also varied based on age. A total of 42% of younger employees (aged 18-29) in Hong Kong felt more supported by their employers, while just 36% of mature employees (50 years old or above) felt the same way. A total of 58% of younger employees in Singapore and 63% of mature employees felt supported. (fig 2)

?It?s a challenging time for all, in the midst of this epidemic, support from employers contributes towards strengthening employees? psychological resilience,? said Simon Tye, executive director of CSG.

?We must work together to support each other, stay flexible and provide accurate information to give people the confidence to move forward,? he added.

Most employees in Hong Kong felt supported by their employers due masks being provided (57%), flexible working hours (54%) and flexibility to work from home (51%).

While employees in Singapore felt supported due to the provision of hand sanitiser (63%), providing health and hygiene guidelines for all employees (57%) and increasing hygiene standards in the work environment (53%). (fig 3)

In terms of the impact of COVID-19 on the economy, the survey revealed that 60% of Hong Kong residents believe that the coronavirus outbreak has an extremely negative economic impact, while just 25% Singaporean employees felt the same way. (fig 4)

Almost half of Hong Kong residents believed that coronavirus outbreak?s impact on the economy will be a lot worse than SARS compared to just over a quarter of Singaporeans. (fig 5)