About four in five (81%) employers in Hong Kong think hybrid work is feasible in the future; while 62% of them have plans to implement it permanently.
As remote and hybrid working have become the new trends since the pandemic, research by Hong Kong Productivity Council has canvassed opinions on the hybrid work model in the post-pandemic future among employers and employees in Hong Kong.
Hybrid work: Yes or No?
The majority of employers and employees agree that hybrid work is feasible and foreseeable in the future.
- Employers: About four in five (81%) think hybrid work is feasible in the future while 62% of them have plans to implement it permanently.
- Employees: The majority of respondents (93%) believe hybrid work is feasible, and 72% prefer it to be their future mode of work. Close to three-quarters (70%) would list out remote/hybrid work as an important factor for consideration for their future work
- Employers: Most of the respondents feel that hybrid work would increase work arrangement flexibility, help to develop a flexible hiring strategy, as well as reduce company cost.
- Employees: Most of them believe that hybrid work is a way to achieve work-life balance, and half of them feel that it can facilitate better time-management and is cost-saving.
Both employers and employees recognise that IT knowledge and digital skills are the leading skills for the future. However, when it comes to the responsibility of closing the skill gap, there is a discrepancy between both parties. While many employees expect their employers to future-proof themselves, not as many employers feel the same.
- Employers: Nearly 90% of employers would include basic IT knowledge and digital skills as a "must" requirement in job hiring. Only 31% of employers think their workforce is equipped with the skill sets to fully adapt to the new normal. Over half of employers (56%) are willing to provide IT and digital-related training for their staff.
- Employees: To cope with the new normal, 82% of them say they will need to upgrade their IT knowledge and digital skills such as artificial intelligence, big data, cloud technology etc. More than four in five (83%) expect their employers to arrange the relevant training in order to enhance productivity and competitiveness.
Both employers and employees in Hong Kong unanimously agree that technology-related issues and teamwork would be the top challenges of hybrid work.
- Employers: Employers cited team communications, management and motivation as the top three challenges in hybrid work. Additionally, the top three IT challenges are risks of data security (58%), lack of internal IT professionals (37%) and proper IT infrastructure (34%). Currently, the top five digital skills gap are big data, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, digital marketing and eCommerce.
- Employees: Respondents in general said teamwork, homeworking and network connectivity will be their three challenges in hybrid work.
Jointly conducted by HKPC and Quokka HR between April and May 2021, The Future of Work & Skills Survey polled over local 600 employers and employees in Hong Kong online.