What some HK employees want most from their bosses

November 16, 2015 17:07
A survey shows 30 percent of employees said they would consider leaving their job for better work-life balance. Photo: HKEJ

To many Hong Kong employees, money is the best motivator. But an increasing number of employees, especially youngsters, are now putting a premium on work-life balance.

Blogger Leona Wong shares this story about a friend working for an IT firm:

Her friend used to run his own company until it was acquired by another firm, and he became one of the senior managers of the merged entity.

He is well aware of the startup culture and knows the benefits of putting more trust in people, having less rules and more autonomy, and allowing freedom at work.

And so he has been thinking of ways to build a more staff-friendly work environment in the much bigger operation he is running now.

One of the changes introduced is to have no meetings on Friday afternoon. Secretaries are literally not allowed to book meeting rooms. Staff automatically switch to “Happy-hour mode” every Friday afternoon. As a result, work morale has significantly improved.

But this is not the most welcome policy.

What truly cheers up the team is the ban on work-related email, SMS or WhatsApp over the weekend.

In order to let the staff truly leave work behind and enjoy some quality time with their families, senior managers would remind each other not to “disturb” the employees with messages from Friday afternoon until right before the start of office hours on Monday—unless there is a real emergency.

The staff are a lot happier following the ban. While it is hard to quantify happiness, the manager has noticed that smiles are now common in the office.

If there is no time to enjoy the money earned, what is the point of making so much money?

A survey has found that Hongkongers have the worst work-life balance in the Asia Pacific.

It’s probably time to change that, and this IT manager’s experience could make a good reference.

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EJ Insight writer