Four in 10 Hong Kong Kong employees work overtime beyond what their contracts require.
But they differ with their employers on why this happens, Ming Pao Daily reports, citing a survey.
More than half of employers blame excessive overtime on workers spending too much time doing personal things at work.
Just 30 percent of employees agree with this reason.
Most employees cite manpower shortage and corporate culture as the reason they work long hours.
The survey was conducted by Hong Kong Baptist University and online recruitment website CTgoodjobs, which polled 388 employers and 1,643 employees between June and August.
Professor Randy Chiu, director of the Baptist University Center for Human Resources Strategy and Development, said the survey showed there is not enough trust between employers and employees.
This could be an obstacle in any negotiations on overtime and standard working hours.
Most employment contracts stipulate standard working hours of 40 to 48 a week but about 20 percent of workers put in 49 to 52 hours, according to the survey.
Meanwhile, more than 65 percent of employees are not satisfied with their job and plan to leave within a year.
Also, more than 70 percent of employers and 50 percent of employees think it is not easy to implement a standard working hours policy.
The policy should not be applied to every kind of job and paid overtime should also be considered, Chiu said.
He said companies could adopt other measures favorable to employees such as family-friendly policies and counseling services.
Edmond So, manager of Besteam Personnel Consultancy, said communication is important to build trust between both sides.
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