HR & EDUCATION | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Nearly 4 in 10 Hong Kong managers practice 'remote working' regularly

Are they slow to adopt the new trend?

According to Regus, while the chief executive of a global internet company may recently have banned company employees from home working, new research by global workplace provider Regus shows that half the world's workforce is now productively enjoying flexible working.

The 2013 Regus Global Economic Indicator reveals that professionals who are chained to the office desk will soon be the minority. Regus' research, canvassing over 26,000 business managers across 90 countries and regions (including 234 from Hong Kong, 851 from China, 106 from Taiwan and 189 from Singapore) found that 48 per cent now work remotely for at least half their working week.

In Hong Kong, the figure is lower, at 36 per cent, while in China, the proportion is higher, with 53 per cent of executives working flexibly for at least half the week. Both Taiwan and Singapore sit just above the global average, at 46 and 45 per cent respectively.

Some chief executives may worry about motivating and managing staff at a distance. But in the Regus survey, 58 per cent of Hong Kong respondents and 59 per cent of Chinese respondents said they believed effective management of remote workers was perfectly achievable, given appropriate training. In Taiwan, the figure rose to 71 per cent. All of these are higher than the global average of 55 per cent.

"Flexible working is a winner for all concerned when the management team takes the lead," said John Henderson, Chief Finance Officer, Regus Asia-Pacific.

"The business people we speak to believe that trust and freedom play a key role in remote management and, once in place, the benefits are clear for all to see: greater productivity, improved staff retention and lower operating costs."

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