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What can Hong Kong employers do to better support employee mental health?

What can Hong Kong employers do to better support employee mental health?


From the employees’ perspective, a four-day work week (61%) and the flexibility to choose their own work hours (40%) are the two most impactful changes employers can introduce.

Understanding what employees truly want and need is key for leaders to adopt the most appropriate initiatives and make better decisions to address employee mental health and wellbeing challenges amidst uncertainties and ever-changing environments.

In light of that, a recent survey from Qualtrics took the views of 1,038 respondents, aged 18 and older, who are employed full- or part-time across a range of industries in Hong Kong in May 2022, to help employers better understand how employees want to work as well as their needs and expectations.

Result revealed that over seven in 10 (71%) of workers said their job is the main source of their mental health challenges. As remote working has been widely adopted during the pandemic over the last two years, close to a quarter (22%) of respondents said it had a negative impact compared to 19% who thought the impact was positive.

Instead of going fully remote, the study suggested hybrid or flexible working may be a better option. Close to half of respondents (48%) defined flexibility as having control of the hours they want to work, being able to choose which days to work (17%) or having the freedom to work from any location (17%), and being measured by performance instead of hours (11%).

The majority of Hong Kong respondents preferred to work however many hours or days they wanted (58%), take vacation as desired (54%), work a predetermined number of hours (42%), work from any location (41%), and run errands during the workday (27%). More paid vacation time was also highlighted as one of the key drivers of retention.

From Hong Kong employees’ perspective, the most impactful changes employers can introduce to improve their mental health are:

  • a four-day work week (61%);
  • the flexibility to choose their own work hours (40%);
  • company-wide mental health days (34%) or weeks (32%); and
  • access to mental health resources, such as on-site counseling (21%).

How to measure employee performance is one of the top concerns for employers. The majority of surveyed employees in Hong Kong (85%) are supportive of being measured by outcomes rather than hours, touting increased efficiency, focus and recognition as the top reasons for doing so. Nearly half (49%) also said they expect to work fewer hours under this model.

“To meaningfully and successfully improve employee wellbeing while simultaneously navigating the shift to modern working environments, employers in Hong Kong must prioritise aligning their offerings with the individual needs and expectations of employees,” said Lauren Huntington, Employee Experience Solution Strategist - Southeast Asia, Qualtrics.

 “The most important part of any new working model is ensuring everyone benefits from the transformations introduced.”

Image / Qualtrics

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