Messaging apps spell overtime for nearly half of HK workers

April 30, 2015 15:55
Instant messaging apps can be a productivity booster, but too often they encroach on an employee's time after work. Photo: Bloomberg

WhatsApp and WeChat are great when you want to reach your co-workers quickly.

But when it's your boss who's trying to reach you outside office hours, the message could mean overtime work for you, a survey shows.

The Hong Kong Research Association (HKRA) interviewed 1,092 local residents aged 15 or older between April 15 and 25.

Of the interviewees, 87 percent were in clerical, management or professional positions, and 39 percent earned more than HK$15,000 a month.

The survey found that 80 percent of Hongkongers rate work-life balance as the biggest factor in job satisfaction, followed by relations with co-workers at 78 percent and salary at 77 percent.

Nearly half (49 percent) of the respondents said they still receive work-related instant messages on apps such as WhatsApp or WeChat after hours, and 44 percent said it translated into added pressure for them.

More than a quarter (28 percent) of the people surveyed said they work overtime for an hour every day, while for 22 percent, their average overtime was two hours.

A majority of the interviewees (57 percent) said they do not get paid for their overtime work.

The HKRA's Mak Yin-mei told Sky Post the situation as regards overtime work in the city has not improved at all.

She said this has an impact on the quality of life and health of employees and is not beneficial for the long-term growth of companies.

Mak called for the government to legislate standard working hours.

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