It's well-known that Hong Kong is a tough place to work with long, grueling hours compared to other places. Are Hongkongers doing enough to ensure they have a work/life balance and are managers supporting this mindset?
There are a couple of things that sprung to mind when I asked myself these questions.
Firstly, a lot of people aren't taking their full annual leave entitlement or are still working when they are on holiday. Whilst we get a lot of public holidays in Hong Kong, the annual leave entitlement is much lower than elsewhere in the world. As workers, it's important we try and switch off - don't feel guilty for taking annual leave, you deserve the time off. Whether you choose to fly somewhere in Asia or further afield, just want to spend the time with your dog curled up in your apartment, or sleeping; take the time to relax and recharge.
On top of this, a lot of workers in Hong Kong often work well into the evening and get home very late, meaning their work week consists of... well, just work. Whether it's because employees live far away; their apartments are too small (as HK is notorious for!); there is just too much to get done; or because managers are increasing pressure, a lot of Hongkongers are spending many extra hours at work, rather than enjoy their evenings.
I am a firm believer in work/life balance and having worked closely with candidates, I know that a lot of people would hugely appreciate being encouraged to have a life outside of work. For managers, by encouraging people to have a work life balance, you will have happier employees that will be more loyal! For individuals, take a break and work smarter, aiming to get what you need done between 9-6. A rested brain will work much harder than an overworked one.
Hongkongers’ minds are wired to work on holidays and they just aren’t getting away for long enough to switch off, according to a recent global study by British Airways. Of the 2,001 people surveyed from Hong Kong, almost two-thirds said that they felt like they had not properly disconnected from work after coming back from a holiday, leaving them more stressed than those in India, Japan, Malaysia and Singapore.