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The Great Resignation in Hong Kong: 90% of respondents cite stress and burnout

The Great Resignation in Hong Kong: 90% of respondents cite stress and burnout


The top stressors are uncertainty about the future (40%), concern about their personal financial situation (34%), and heavy workload (22%).

Hong Kong has long been known for its stressful work style, and this is further proved by a recent survey, which showed that Hong Kong’s health and wellbeing index remains the lowest in APAC for a third consecutive year, falling behind neighbouring regional markets India, Mainland China, and Singapore.

Among the 1,000 Hong Kong people surveyed in 2022 Cigna 360 Global Wellbeing Survey, nearly nine in 10 (87%) respondents said they feel stressed, and 19% find this stress unmanageable, topping all surveyed markets in APAC and ranking the third highest amongst 15 global markets.

MarketHealth & Wellbeing Index 2021
Health & Wellbeing Index 2022
APAC63.9 63.6 (-0.3) 
India73.6 72.1 (-1.5) 
Mainland China66.1 66.6 (+0.5) 
Singapore59.2 59.8 (+0.6) 
Hong Kong56.7 56.1 (-0.6)

Stress and burnout have deeply affected Hong Kong people’s mental and physical wellbeing. The majority of Hongkongers are experiencing burnout (97%), with 39% saying they feel more tired or drained, and 27% more helpless, trapped, or defeated than usual, during the time this research was conducted.

Close to half (47%) of stressed respondents had their sleep disrupted, while 35% could not concentrate and focus on tasks. Stressed respondents also said they felt depressed (30%) and emotional (31%).

Major causes of stress:

  • Uncertainty about the future (40%),
  • Concern about their personal financial situation (34%), and
  • Heavy workload (22%).

“Our study shows that mental health issues in Hong Kong, particularly stress and burnout, are pervasive, " said Jonathan Spiers, Chief Executive Officer of Cigna Hong Kong. "This paves the way for employers to support mental health issues in the workplace and the wider community."

'The Great Resignation' continues

Meanwhile, Hong Kong has also fallen victim to the Great Resignation phenomenon like other surveyed markets. Over a third (37%) of employees have changed jobs in the past year, and the decision to leave work has become increasingly self-driven (27%).

More than half (51%) of the respondents said they have spent more time re-evaluating their life priorities as compared to two years ago. The trend is expected to continue, as one third (33%) are looking to change jobs over the next year.

When it comes to choosing an ideal employer, workers in Hong Kong are looking for flexibility in working hours and locations, but also value a comprehensive healthcare and life insurance plan to manage their overall health and wellbeing. Over half (59%) desire insurance coverage enhancements for health and body check-ups, while two in five (44%) are looking for coverage for their spouse or partner.

In terms of mental health support, 23% of the respondents want mental health counselling and support, while 22% of respondents in Hong Kong said they prefer virtual engagements for therapy and counselling. 

Spiers added: “The continuous trend of employees looking to change their jobs signals an opportunity for employers to strengthen their employee value proposition and maintain a competitive edge by upgrading their employee benefits programme, a key to attracting and retaining talent. "

ALSO READ: Do you really know what young talent wants?

Photo / Shutterstock

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