In Focus
HR & EDUCATION | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong
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Workforce puts importance on upskilling, work-life balance: study

This comes as Hong Kong faces ‘new normal’ and uncertainty in 2021.

Hong Kong employees and candidates could be looking to improve their skills whilst also prioritising work-life balance amidst working operations in the "new normal" and uncertainties in 2021 brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the latest report by professional recruiting group Hays.

Results of the study also show that companies are changing their working practices to attract and retain employees with a more modern outlook.

The workforce in Hong Kong are proven to be amongst the most studious in Asia, spending around six to 10 hours (9%), 10 to 24 hours (4%), and over 24 hours (2%) outside of their jobs to enhance their professional skills.

Around 47% of the respondents also said they had taken up soft skill development and 31% said they began improving their hard skill set in last year alone.

Despite the recognition of the need to upskill, the number of employees not spending time upskilling went up from 23% last year to 28% in 2021.

According to Hays Greater China managing director Simon Lance, the change reflects the shifting needs of the modern workspace, as digitalisation, video conferencing, and cloud and technological transformations are now commonplace.

“In order to stand out from the competition, employees and candidates must update skill sets in order to accommodate this, and are advised to speak to companies, mentors and recruitment experts to establish the areas in which they should improve,” Lance said.

Whilst work-life balance is the second most-preferred option for professionals looking to stay with their employer, 48% of the respondents selected it in 2021. This is higher than the previous year’s 43%.

Moreover, the percentage of the respondents who say their work-life balance is "good’ or "very good" is down to 46% from last year’s 51%. Hays stated that the trend’s increasing importance might cause the general decline.

“We can see that work-life balance is becoming of immense importance to Hong Kong’s workforce, and this may be part of a generational shift as Millennials and Gen Z become more influential in the workplace,” the report said.
 

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