Burnout, work-life imbalance impact employee happiness in Hong Kong

Perceptions on pay, rather than income level, is also a significant factor impacting the job satisfaction of employees.
By: | March 23, 2023

Driven by factors such as burnout and a lack of work-life balance, the happiness index score for employees in Hong Kong stood at 5.15 out of 10, with almost four out of 10 employees giving a failing score.

According to an online survey of 1,500 employees conducted by HK.WeCare, a positive thinking advocacy group, more than 40% of respondents reported experiencing high levels of burnout at work, while 30% said they experienced work-life imbalance, which prevented them from relaxing in their personal time.

The respondents also identified employee pay perceptions as the most significant factor negatively impacting workplace happiness. 40% of respondents found their compensation inappropriate, considering their workload and performance. Despite this, there was no correlation between income level and workplace happiness. The highest income group, those earning more than HK$100,000 (US$ 12,743) a month, had the lowest happiness score at just 4.63.

Away from monetary rewards, employees also chose mutual respect, fairness, transparency, and recognition as the most desired workplace attributes, with about 30-50% of respondents choosing these qualities.

To improve employees’ happiness, HK.WeCare called on employers to cultivate a positive work culture and prioritise retaining talent. “Employers should shoulder the responsibility of bringing human elements into workplace management,” said Ricky Szeto Wing-fu, Advisor to HK.WeCARE and CEO of the Hung Fook Tong Group.

READ: Millennials in Hong Kong desire healthy lifestyles

The key to retaining talent, according to Szeto, is establishing a human-oriented environment that places employees in roles that align with their strengths, instead of expecting them to address their weakness. Additionally, he suggested that organisations could promote a healthy work-life balance among employees by offering flexible work arrangements and family-friendly leave, as recommended by Hong Kong’s Labour Department, reported SCMP.