The 5 Key Concerns of the Hong Kong Workforce
The world continues to shift and adapt to the ongoing challenges, influencing the way we live, interact, and work with one another. While this is expected to continue in the coming years, businesses are offered the opportunity to take the necessary actions to better align and unite their workforce.
According to a PwC survey conducted on 53,912 employees across 46 countries and territories, the key concerns of the Hong Kong SAR workforce emphasize the importance of hybrid work, the impact of AI, the importance of upskilling, self-representation, and sustainability.
This Pacific Prime Hong Kong article will provide an overview of what employers should be aware of with regard to the concerns of the workforce in Hong Kong, the backdrop on which this will play out, and the way forward.
1. The Future of Work and the Hybrid Way Forward
With the abundance of data and the interconnectedness of our networks, working from a traditional office space is becoming less and less common. Companies have now begun to allow their employees to step away from their cubicles, which has resulted in greater autonomy and productivity.
According to the survey, around 77% of the workforce in Hong Kong prefers a hybrid work model over working remotely or on-site full-time. With this data in mind, employers can plan ahead and implement hybrid working models as a means of increasing employee attraction, retention, and satisfaction.
2. The Impact of AI on Jobs and the Hong Kong Workforce
Artificial intelligence will continue to transform the job market and introduce new jobs with less routine work and more strategic output. By 2030, we can expect 20-50 million new jobs driven by AI in various sectors.
In Hong Kong, 44% of employees strongly believe that AI helps to improve their productivity at work, with 30% trusting AI to offer greater opportunities for skill development. As a result, Hong Kong employers should actively seek ways to use AI in their daily operations and involve their staff.
3. The Necessity for Growth and Upskilling
As technology continues to set a new bar for entry-level work, the standard practices in various industries, and the level of IT literacy for day-to-day operations, it is the responsibility of employers to provide their staff with ample opportunities for skill and career development.
In Hong Kong, only 29% of employees feel that they have adequate opportunities to learn and showcase their skills. When compared to other APAC countries (48%), Hong Kong’s employees are clearly not being given the opportunity to reach their full potential.
This requires more effort on the part of employees to support their long-term growth and development. In the future, employers may consider implementing the following schemes to enable upskilling:
- Put money into tools like bonuses or promotions to encourage workers to fill the skill gap.
- Facilitate chances for top talent to collaborate and learn from one another.
- Bring up a new plan for managing talent that spells out how workers can put their training to use.
4. The Importance of Identity and Self-Representation
No amount of AI can ever replicate the human touch or the essence of humanity. Employers would do well to make changes to their workforce management by encouraging their workers to express themselves authentically in the workplace, as this is becoming increasingly important to workers.
Compared to APAC and the rest of the world (52% and 53%), only 32% of Hong Kong employees feel represented or comfortable being themselves at work. Given the extent of time spent at the workplace, employers may want to encourage an environment for the exchange of thoughts, ideas, and culture.
5. The Importance of Long-term Sustainability
As more and more countries, such as the UAE and Singapore, are trying to push responsible development by embedding sustainability practices, Hong Kong still has a long way to go in its journey. 42% of employees think that their organization will not last 10 years with the current trajectory.
This requires a massive shift in priorities from top to bottom to ensure that organizations have long-term plans for their employees, their practices, and guidelines against climate change.
Just as consumers are more concerned about how their products are made, employees will become more concerned about the efforts made by their employers.
Guidelines for the Future
To optimize their workforce, companies should prioritize hybrid work arrangements, use AI to their advantage, foster an environment that encourages the development and application of skills, and provide incentives to their most talented workers.
In light of the current and future difficulties, the following are some suggestions that employers may use as a framework.
Supporting Flexible Modes of Work
- Introducing employees to new ways of improving their hybrid work experience by making use of compatible productivity tools and offering training sessions.
- Establishing a clear and long-lasting hybrid work policy for all employees.
- Empowering leaders to become accustomed to delegating work and managing work outputs in remote environments.
- Introducing holistic solutions to employees who struggle to leverage the advantage of remote work arrangements, especially the older generation.
Leveraging the Power of AI
- Introduce initiatives that encourage the use of AI and experimentation of next-generation digital tools
- Set a clear plan for the empowerment of a future-proof and digitally literate workforce
- Apply digital technologies as a means of increasing tool integration, cost reduction, flexibility, and learning.
- Proactively develop guidelines on the use of AI tools that suit the organization’s function.
Fostering Learning and Application
- Introduce programs that provide opportunities for employees to develop and be productive.
- Incentivize learning and development by providing rewards or career progression opportunities.
- Enable cross-department and cross-hierarchy learning and development.
- Provide platforms or opportunities for employees to exercise and display their newly acquired skills.
Motivate Your Highly Skilled Employees
- The job market is fierce and competitive. Prioritize job satisfaction when implementing talent retention strategies.
- Look to expand skillsets, empower ownership, and make skilled employees part of the company culture.
- Cultivate convenience, comfort, and a sense of belonging for highly skilled employees.
- Provide an environment for ideas and cultural exchange, allowing a diverse workforce to thrive.
The Way Forward
In conclusion, employers in Hong Kong should be aware of the five key concerns expressed by the workforce: the importance of hybrid work, the impact of AI, the need for upskilling, the significance of self-representation, and the importance of long-term sustainability.
To address these concerns, employers should prioritize flexible work arrangements, leverage AI technologies, foster a culture of learning and application, support highly skilled employees, and embrace sustainability practices.
By taking these steps, employers can create a more inclusive, productive, and future-ready workforce in Hong Kong. One additional and important strategy is delivering an employee benefits plan that meets the needs of your unique employees.
Learning more about the importance of employee benefits is a continuous process, and it’s worth starting today to anticipate tomorrow. You may also read more about the trends happening in the insurtech industry to give yourself a better picture of what’s to come.