28 October 2016
Many Hong Kong employees are forced to work late into the night. Photo: Reuters
Many Hong Kong employees are forced to work late into the night. Photo: Reuters

Hong Kong employees top Asia in overtime hours

Hong Kong employees work the most overtime in Asia, 31 percent having to work as much as eight extra hours a week, Apple Daily reported Tuesday.

A survey released by office services provider Regus, which interviewed more than 44,000 people worldwide between December last year and January this year, showed that, on average, the city’s employees need to work overtime five days a week, higher that the global average.

In Hong Kong, 70 percent of employees work at least four hours of overtime per week.

This compares with less than 50 percent in mainland China and 61 percent in Singapore.

One in five of the Hong Kong employees surveyed have to work between four and six hours of overtime a week, and 14 percent said they have to work more than 15 hours.

Meanwhile, 27 percent of Hong Kong employees work overtime on Mondays, compared with 15 percent on Fridays, 9 percent on Tuesdays and 12 percent on other weekdays.

Edmond So Wai-chung, general manager of Besteam Personnel Consultancy Ltd., said overtime is part of the work culture in Hong Kong, though things have improved in recent years as the younger generation seeks a better work-life balance.

Some employees in manufacturing and trading firms often have meetings with business partners in the United States and European countries, so they may have to work overtime because of the time differences, So said.

Employees in advertising, marketing or public relations may also have to stand by to meet customers’ needs, he said.

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