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

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From an employee perspective, a four-day work week (61%) and the ability to choose your own working hours (40%) are the two most impactful changes employers can introduce.

Understanding what employees truly want and need is essential for leaders to adopt the most appropriate initiatives and make better decisions to address employee mental health and wellbeing challenges in a time of uncertainty and uncertainty. constantly changing environments.

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

The result revealed that more than seven in 10 workers (71%) said their job was the main source of their mental health problems. As remote working has been widely adopted during the pandemic over the past two years, almost a quarter (22%) of respondents said it was having a negative impact compared to 19% who thought the impact was positive .

Instead of going completely remote, the study suggested that hybrid or flexible working might be a better option. Almost half of respondents (48%) defined flexibility as having control over the hours they want to work, being able to choose the days they work (17%) or having the freedom to work from anywhere (17%), and to be measured by performance instead of hours (11%).

The majority of Hong Kong respondents preferred to work the number of hours or days they wanted (58%), take vacations as they wished (54%), work a predetermined number of hours (42%), work from anywhere (41%), and run errands during the working day (27%). Increased paid time off was also highlighted as a key driver of retention.

From the perspective of Hong Kong employees, 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 working 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 main concerns of employers. The majority of employees surveyed in Hong Kong (85%) favor being measured by results rather than hours, citing increased efficiency, focus and recognition as the main reasons for doing so. Almost half (49%) also said they expected to work fewer hours under this model.

“To significantly and successfully improve employee well-being while simultaneously navigating the transition to modern work environments, Hong Kong employers must prioritize aligning their offerings with needs and expectations. individual employees,” said Lauren Huntington, Employee Experience Solutions Strategist – Southeast Asia, Qualtrics.

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


Image / Qualtrics

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