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What incentives Hong Kong employees want most amidst the pandemic

What incentives Hong Kong employees want most amidst the pandemic


Nearly 90% of respondents would like daily meal allowances over other incentives, such as transportation or wellbeing subsidies.

COVID-19 has tremendously altered workplace culture and working habits, as well as has altered people’s priorities. To attract and retain talent, organisations have to embrace change and respond quickly to address the constantly changing needs of their employees.

In light of that, food delivery platform Deliveroo commissioned Censuswide to conduct the Work Survey between July and August 2021, interviewing over 1,000 participants to better understand how the pandemic has impacted workplace arrangements and employee preferences in terms of company benefits across Hong Kong.

Surveyed respondents were employed to work three days a week or more and spent at least 50% of their time in an office environment before the pandemic. Currently, they spend at least 25% of their time working within an office environment and work for a company with at least 10 employees in Hong Kong.

Here are the key findings.

#1 Flexible working is here to stay

Work flexibility remains an important consideration to employees. Most respondents said they plan to return to the office at least three days per working week and prefer to work from home at least one to two days a week.

Surprisingly, respondents from offices in the New Territories plan to work from the office more frequently than those based on Hong Kong Island or Kowloon.

Meanwhile, 46% of people working at larger companies of more than 500 people plan to return to the office full-time, compared to just 24% of employees who work in companies with 31-50 employees.

#2 Disconnect with their colleagues under WFH

The survey found that over three-quarters (77%) of employees felt less connected to their colleagues as the time spent working from home extended. The healthcare sector reported the highest who feel so (85%), while those in the sales, media & marketing sector were the least likely to feel a disconnect (69%).

Over 83% of employees agreed that team building was important to the success of the business, and more than 77% said they have higher productivity when they have close working relationships with their co-workers.

#3 Employees want more food options and meal benefits

Sixty-five percent of respondents said having meals with colleagues is an important way to bond, while over two-thirds (68%) agreed that teams are happier and more productive after eating lunch together.

Nearly 90% of employees surveyed, therefore, said they would like daily meal allowances to boost their productivity and team bonding over other incentives, such as transportation or wellbeing subsidies.

One-third of employees said their company always offers subsidies for meals while they are working in the office, with 39%, 28%, and 33% of respondents from offices in the New Territories, Kowloon, and Hong Kong Island saying this was the case respectively.

However, less than one in seven (13%) of respondents said their company offers meal subsidies when working from home. Offices based on Hong Kong Island are more likely to offer subsidies than those in New Territories (16% vs 10%)

Industries such as healthcare and IT & telecom were the most likely to say that their companies offer meal subsidies, while the education sector was the least likely.

In terms of food options, employees’ top five preferred food items regularly available in the office pantry are:

  • Coffee (67%);
  • Fruits (49%);
  • Soft drinks (46%);
  • Biscuits (46%); and
  • Chocolate/candies (43%)

Meanwhile, 37% of those surveyed selected sushi and tea, along with juice and pizza as their top choices of workplace food options.

Other findings

  • Male respondents were more likely to say they enjoy eating with their colleagues than their female counterparts (49% versus 40%).
  • 43% of employees expressed interest in receiving an extra day of annual leave as a small prize, while 34% would prefer a food delivery, grocery gift card, or electronic gift card instead.
  • Most employees preferred food delivery and grocery gift cards over dine-in vouchers (27%), as a result of the pandemic.

Image / Unsplash

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