What do Hong Kong employees desire at work? Hybrid work and a diverse environment

What do Hong Kong employees desire at work? Hybrid work and a diverse environment

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While 89% of Hong Kong employees prefer to work remotely, they also want more transparency on health and safety, economic, and environmental impact.

Amidst the severe challenges and ongoing impact brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, what are the demands and considerations employees have regarding their working styles, professional skills, and digitalisation?

PwC’s latest survey showed that there is now a growing trend of personnel seeking remote and hybrid work opportunities, with nearly nine in 10 (89%) employees in Hong Kong preferring to work entirely or mostly remotely, akin to the global proportion of 88%.

However, many employers are not matching expectations, with less than half (45%) of Hong Kong employees offering hybrid work options, compared to 54% globally.

The survey also found that Hong Kong shows slightly less demand for professional skills training and less of a skills shortage compared to global responses, with 62% of Hong Kong employees perceiving their job requires more professional training, compared to 69% globally.

Concurrently, Hong Kong employers are doing more to address the issue of shortages in professional skills compared to global ones. In Hong Kong, 57% of employers ranked increasing wages as the most popular way to resolve skills shortages, followed by upskilling workers (48%). Whereas globally, upskilling workers was the top solution for 40% of global employers, after which came increasing wages at 33%.

As for building advanced technological skillsets, Hong Kong employees are willing to learn and upskill their digital savviness in the future but don’t see ample opportunities to do so at work. Half of Hong Kong employees said they have limited capacity to learn new technical or digital skills that are needed for their careers, compared to 36% globally.

Additionally, 45% of the city's employees commented there is no opportunity to work and learn from colleagues with high-tech/digital skills and their companies do not provide relevant training opportunities.

Michael Cheng, People & Organisation Advisory Digital Lead Partner of PwC Hong Kong, advised employers to uphold workplace flexibility and experiment with different modes of working, while utilising digital technologies. 

“Employers can continue to seek new ways of improving hybrid working experiences by providing employees with more digitalised tools and trainings, and take a more holistic approach to addressing retention risk such as pay and career development for those who cannot work remotely or in a hybrid format,” he added.

The report also highlighted the following C&B trends.

#1 Companies should continuously invest in employee wellbeing and promote personal growth

The survey shows that 35% of Hong Kong companies manage employees’ wellbeing and diversity, just above the global average of 34%. As more companies are focusing on wellbeing, mental health, and internal development, 62% of Hong Kong employees and 52% of global employees are optimistic about future career development and opportunities.

#2 Workplace transparency has become an important issue

Workplace transparency is another important issue for employees both in Hong Kong and around the world, notably related to fostering trust and accountability in support of social, economic, and mental wellbeing. Over 85% of all Hong Kong and global employees think that companies should be transparent in protecting their health and safety, while 91% are confident in the transparency of their employers. 

#3 Employees are more likely to ask for promotions and salary increases

One trend forecast for the next 12 months is that Hong Kong employees are more likely to ask for promotions and raises, followed by building pride in their work.

When it comes to asking for a raise, Hong Kong stands at 90%, compared with 73% globally. However, Hong Kong's Gen Z and Millennial employees are less likely to ask for a raise than their global equivalents, with 38% of Hong Kong's Gen Z saying they would ask for a raise, compared to 41% of global Gen Z respondents. Still, the younger generations are significantly more likely than Gen X and Boomers to seek a raise.

Additionally, 85% of Hong Kong employees surveyed said they are likely to recommend their employer as a place to work.

Albert Lo, Advisory Consulting Financial Services Leader of PwC Hong Kong, advises companies and employers to:

  • develop a people-centric and ‘walk the talk’ culture on a daily basis,
  • be transparent about employees’ career opportunities within the organisation,
  • create plans for personal development, and
  • promote broader transparency across valued topics including societal and environmental goals.

PwC’s Hopes & Fears 2022 report surveyed 52,195 employees in 44 countries and territories in March 2022. Among the global respondents, 1,043 members are from Hong Kong, covering different genders, age, and working status. 

Image / Unsplash

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