Hong Kong sees biggest reluctance rate for office comebacks

What's the top concern of employees?

Hong Kong sees biggest reluctance rate for office comebacks

Employers and employees across Hong Kong aren't seeing eye to eye when it comes to returning to workplaces, according to a new report, which found that six in 10 employees there remain hesitant for an office comeback.

In Hong Kong, 63% of employees are already in the office for four or more days a week, according to Unispace, which surveyed over 500 employees and more than 100 decision makers.

This number is expected to grow in the coming months as 95% of the respondents said they are expected to come back in the office for at least four days, thanks to mandates pushed by their employers.

Despite this, 60% of the respondents in Hong Kong said they are hesitant on coming back, the highest among Unispace's global respondents from the US (42%), United Kingdom (58%), Canada (55%), and Singapore (54%).

'Significant disconnect' on returning

Employees blamed their reluctance to the lack of privacy in the office (29%) and because they are more effective when working from home (26%).

Employers, however, believe entirely different reasons for this.

For 21%, they said it's because staff are unwilling to travel. Another 20% said they believe employees don't want to carry their equipment between the office and home, according to the report.

"Our study indicates that the significant disconnect between employer and employee has contributed to the struggling working environment and culture in Hong Kong," said Sean Moran, Senior Principal, Client Solutions, Asia at Unispace, in a statement.

Burnout also rampant, but unnoticed

Meanwhile, the report also discovered how burnout is glossed over in the workplace. According to the survey, 64% of employees are impacted by burnout, with 45% attributing this to heavy workloads.

"However, just 29% of Hong Kong employers believed this to be an issue, suggesting firms are failing to spot the signs of burnout in workforces," Unispace said in a media release.

Hong Kong is one of the "most overworked cities in the world," according to Moran, who emphasised the importance of understanding employees' grievances.

"Hong Kong businesses need to understand the concerns and struggles of their staff, from work arrangement and office productivity to burnout," he said.

Employers in Hong Kong are already taking steps to address employees' privacy concerns, as 82% said they expanded their space in the last two years, with 74% planning to do so by 2025.

"We see the need to build an encouraging workplace aligned with their employees' needs and values as a platform to promote positive influence and culture. Fostering a better relationship with their employees, businesses can drive higher talent retention and attract high-quality talent, the steppingstone to the company's success," Moran said.

Recent articles & video

Japan to allow foreign workers to change employers with new law: reports

Hong Kong employers urged to form AI governance committees

Top Asian employers highlight strong female workforce representation

What are the costliest cities for international workers?

Most Read Articles

Best employers in Asia announced: HRD Asia’s 5-Star Employer of Choice 2024 List

How to prevent the misuse of company benefits in Singapore

Singapore employers warned of losing top talent without strong DEIB strategies