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Over half of surveyed Hong Kong employees willing to extend working hours for a 4-day workweek

Over half of surveyed Hong Kong employees willing to extend working hours for a 4-day workweek

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On the other hand, nearly 60% of full-time employees received a pay rise, with an average salary growth rate of 3.2%.

According to Jobsdb by SEEK’s 2024 Salary Report, the average salary increase of Hong Kong employees in 2024 was 3.2%, down 0.9 percentage points from last year. 

A total of 3,391 local employees participated in the survey, of which 57% of respondents said they had received a salary increase, a 4-percentage-point drop from 2023.

The report also showed that 73% of full-time employees received bonuses and/or double pay this year, but this is still 3 percentage points less than last year.

On average, employees said that they received a 1.4-month bonus, consistent with the past two years. And nearly 30% of the respondents, who typically received bonuses ranging from 1.8 to 2.7 months’ salary, expressed satisfaction with their bonuses.

Industry spotlights

The analytics industry remained in the leading position with the highest salary increments (7.2%), followed by legal/compliance (5%) and engineering (4.9%).

Hong Kong’s increasing number of visitors and more frequent outbound travel by residents have positively impacted the hospitality/tourism industry. It had the highest percentage of respondents (over 80%) receiving salary increments among all job functions, ranking fifth alongside the information technology industry with a 4.2% increment.

Moreover, 74% of employees in the hospitality/tourism industry received bonuses, up 23 percentage points on last year. The average bonuses for respondents in this sector rose from 1.4 months previously to 2.2 months this year.

The food and beverage sector, however, had a high job turnover rate, with 31% of employees having changed jobs in the last 12 months. Among the respondents in this industry, only 10% of employees said they have no plans to switch jobs in the next three months. Dissatisfaction with overall compensation is likely to have contributed to the high turnover rate. In 2024, the average salary increment of this sector was 2.2%, one percentage point below the overall average.

Hong Kong employees seek a better work-life balance

On the other hand, the report found that full-time employees surveyed work an average of 46.6 hours per week, exceeding the recommended 40 hours by the International Labour Organization.

The food & beverage and hospitality/tourism job functions have particularly high average weekly working hours, at 54.8 and 50.2 hours respectively. 

Eighty percent of respondents, mainly in middle and senior management positions, reported experiencing moderate to high levels of work stress.

The main sources of stress identified were:

  • heavy workload (42%)
  • job requirement changes and goes beyond capability (35%)
  • deteriorated communication among co-workers/superiors (30%)
  • heavy financial burdens (30%)

Under the higher work stress, Hong Kong workers are increasingly seeking a better work-life balance, with 65% of respondents hoping for a 4-day or 4.5-day workweek.

Meanwhile, 56% are willing to extend daily work hours in exchange for a 4-day workweek to spend more time with family and friends.

Despite the growing demand for shorter workweeks, only 24% of respondents said that their companies have implemented these measures, highlighting a significant gap between employee expectations and employer policies.

Rise in pessimism about job prospects

Regarding job prospects, a significant increase percentage of respondents (36%) expressed pessimistic outlooks on the job market, up 19 percentage points from last year.

Although 48% of respondents acknowledged that their salaries are below average, they still choose to stay in their current jobs. Reasons include ‘difficulty in getting a new job and maintaining security in the new job due to social instability’ (23%) and ‘limited choices in the face of an economic downturn’ (22%).

Amidst these concerns, workers are more reluctant to quit. A lower percentage of employees (24%) plan to change jobs in the next three months. More respondents (29%) said they choose to remain unchanged in response to uncertainties, indicating an overall cautious short-term outlook.

Expectations for new jobs are also less optimistic, with 14% anticipating a salary reduction, an increase of 10 percentage points.

The average job search time has increased from 4.8 months in 2023 to 5.1 months in 2024, and less than 30% believe they can find a new job within two months.

The growing popularity of the Greater Bay Area

With less optimism towards the local job market, around 40% of the respondents expressed interest in working outside Hong Kong.

Mainland China, for the first time, has entered the top three preferred destinations for Hong Kong workers, ranking between Australia and Singapore.

Among the younger generation (aged 25 and below), Mainland China has even become their most preferred non-local work destination.

Despite a rising trend among younger generations seeking job opportunities in Mainland China; however, more than 40% of respondents reported difficulties in accessing non-local job information through existing channels.


Lead image / 123RF

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