Almost half of workers plan to quit due to COVID-19

Despite the crisis, many are actively looking for a job in 2020

Almost half of workers plan to quit due to COVID-19

While majority (86%) of employees in Hong Kong cited job security as a top concern in 2020, about half (49%) are actively looking for a new gig.

Even if they’re not actively looking (35%), they’re open to exploring new job opportunities, found a new pulse survey.

Reasons why they want to quit include:

  • Unsatisfied with current salary and want a job with higher pay (41%)
  • Want a change in career (33%)
  • Skills and experience mismatch with current role (18%)
  • Reasons associated with COVID-19 (41%)

Of the 16% of employees who said they’re not looking for a job this year, half said that they are confident that their employers will retain them, and one in three prefer to wait until after COVID-19 before deciding if they want a career switch.

READ MORE: Hong Kong’s job market starts weakening as recession deepens

Employers’ COVID-19 response
Regardless, three in five employees are satisfied with their employer’s handling of the pandemic, according to Randstad’s latest survey.

Most (89%) said that their company made flexible and remote working arrangements. Among them, 23% have made working from home a compulsory measure.

Interestingly, 15% said their employers made no changes to work, even though COVID-19 is highly infectious.

Even though only 5% lacked access to technology tools to collaborate with their teammates when working remotely, one in three (30%) said that they don’t have adequate technical support when not in the office.

Tools used to connect with one another when working from home: video conferencing tools (76%), messaging services (73%) and internal social communities (18%).

“When employers implement work-from-home policies to protect their staff from the pandemic, they should also ensure that the employees can receive adequate technology and team support from home,” said Natellie Sun, managing director of Search and Selection across Greater China at Randstad.

“In an ideal situation, employees should not need to troubleshoot technical issues on their own at home. Neither should they feel alone or unsupported by their team members when working remotely.

“With the help of technology, managers can play a more active role in tracking their employees’ progress and step in to provide counsel and support to those who need it.”

READ MORE: How are C-suites managing the COVID-19 crisis?

A ‘good employer’
When asked what a ‘good employer’ should do during a pandemic:

  • 53% of workers expect regular business updates and reassurance about their employment status
  • 52% want a mandatory work-from-home arrangement until there is no more community spread
  • 43% wishes for better flexibility for employees living with children and the elderly

“The employment statuses for many Hongkongers have changed as a result of months-long protests and COVID-1,” said Sun. “A global event like the pandemic will also motivate some people to rethink their career choices.

“COVID-19 did not have an equal impact on all industries and companies in Hong Kong. Employees who have been itching to switch employers will look for job opportunities in [recession-proof] companies.

“Workers will also be motivated to start a job search when their employers implement cost-cutting measures that impact their income. When companies announce salary and bonus cuts, employees will feel that they have nothing to lose if they make the switch, and are expected to take action fairly quickly this year.”

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