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75% of employees work overtime without compensation: survey

Weekly overtime stretches for as long as 16 hours.

According to a new survey by career portal jobsDB, most Hong Kong employees (89%) work overtime at the office, and the majority of them (75%) receive no compensation for it. The amount of weekly overtime runs from 4 hours (39%), to 7 hours (23%) and 16 hours or more (3%).

Apart from working overtime at the office, 61% of respondents also work during their personal time. Most of the work activity conducted during personal time is communication, with some 41% of people reporting always or often receiving and replying to text messages, and 35% saying the same about emails.

The reasons for putting in extra effort also vary, from “handling an urgent job” (54%) to “not wanting to upset the boss, colleagues or clients” (48%). Nearly half of those surveyed (46%) even mentioned that it is “part of the job.”

Here's more from jobsDB:

“The biggest culprit causing unpaid overtime could be a combination of communication technology advancement and the always-on culture,” said Justin Yiu, General Manager of Jobs DB Hong Kong Limited. “Some jobs might also require longer working hours than others, so it is hard to find a solution that works for all. Strong leadership by managers who focus on staff productivity rather than presence in the office, combined with an emphasis on work/life balance within a company’s culture, could go a long way to reducing or eliminating this issue.”

Changing jobs can be a good way to obtain a significant salary increase, with the average job-hop delivering 5.3 per cent more income than the previous position. Some 23% of respondents reported that they had changed their jobs – a decrease from 27% last year. The most common reason for the move was salary dissatisfaction.

Employees with the least experience were the most active in changing jobs. More than a third of respondents (34%) with two years or less of work experience reported changing their job in the past 12 months. That compares with only 18% of respondents with more than 10 years of experience reporting a job change.

It looks like the job-hopping rate will accelerate this year, since 43% of employed respondents are intending to change jobs, compared to 39% in 2016. Many (19%) of them will be repeat hoppers, having also changed their jobs in the previous year.

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