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Out of the 44% of Hong Kong respondents who worked remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic, 40% expressed that they experienced higher work productivity. This is the highest in the region with China, Malaysia and Singapore trailing at 34%, 31% and 34% respectively.

More than 3 in 10 employees who were working from home also said that they felt less stressed. 

work from home productivity
work from home productivity
   

35% of hongkongers that work from home miss face-to-face interactions

While there is a positive impact of remote working on work productivity, it has also taken a toll on workers' feelings and happiness. More than 1 in 3 respondents who were working from home miss interacting with their co-workers in person. Moreover, 16% of these respondents felt lonely or isolated during remote working.

Although Hongkongers enjoy the freedom and autonomy brought about by remote work, some employees miss the opportunity to connect and collaborate with their colleagues in an office setting. Hunkering down and working from home for prolonged periods of time may also result in loneliness and social isolation.

Taken together, this could create long-term issues around employee experience and mental health. To this end, employers should step up and conduct regular, informal check-ins to connect with their staff on a more personal level as well as boost engagement and morale. 

36% want their employers to provide more support for work-life balance 

Of the respondents who were working from home, 26% said that it was difficult to maintain a work-life balance. As the line between work and life blurs during remote work, employers need to provide work from home (WFH) guidelines and revise their policies to help Hongkongers find the balance in the new normal.

top 5 initiatives employees hope companies would implement to help them work from home effectively

Policies on work hours to help workers keep a proper work-life balance 36%
Allowance for remote working 30%
Strict and clear protocols for on-site and remote working 23%
Software for remote working 20%
Hardware and office equipment for remote working 20%

Although the majority of local employees have adapted well to remote working arrangements, firms can step up and provide an enabling environment for them to work more efficiently at home. According to Randstad Workmonitor’s 2021 H1 results, employers need to set clear HR policies and measures on work hours to help employees attain work-life harmony and be more productive when working from home. 

As hybrid modes of working become the new normal in the world of work, managers should understand the technical difficulties faced by some of their employees while remote working and resolve them to enable better efficiency and a more seamless work experience.

The Randstad 1H Workmonitor survey was conducted in March 2021 across 34 markets around the world with a minimum of 400 respondents in each market.

To have higher gains on work from home productivity, companies should not just provide an option of agile working but also develop a future of work-life balance and support support programmes to maintain employees’ engagement. 

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download the 1H 2021 workmonitor report.