Recent research has revealed that 63% of office workers in Hong Kong are in a positive mood, with 56% noting a higher or same level of happiness compared to six months earlier.
This is a sharp contrast to a recent study of British employees that revealed that many felt stressed by the impact of COVID-19 and home working – the greater severity of the pandemic in the UK plus much stricter lockdown measures are likely contributing factors.
With the coronavirus outbreak, 62% of Hong Kong office workers have worked from home from January to April 2020. Among them, 84% said the arrangement had provided for flexibility to run personal errands,making 81% of them feeling more mentally refreshed.
In addition, 69% agreed that working from home improved relationships with family members in the same household, while 82% and 67% of respondents felt happy to spend less time face-to-face with their superiors and co-workers respectively amid telecommuting.
However, respondents were generally dissatisfied with their financial health, highlighting the need for long-term financial planning to provide assurance for office workers.
In the next five years, over 70% of respondents have prioritised health as their primary life goal, and consider health as the most important aspect of life.
A total of 88% of those surveyed are confident in maintaining these convictions after the pandemic passes.
Most respondents believe flexible working arrangements, including working from home (73%), flexitime (83%) and compressed working hours (77%), should remain in place after the pandemic eases. This suggests that flexible working arrangements could become the new normal and beneficial to the physical and mental wellbeing of office workers.
The research was commissioned by Sun Life Hong Kong, which entrusted YouGov to survey 810 office workers, aged 18 to 64, on their attitudes towards health and happiness, workplace and mental health, as well as the coronavirus outbreak’s impact on lifestyle and work environments. The survey was conducted via online questionnaire between April 29 and May 6, 2020.