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60% of Hong Kong employees cited “work-life balance" as top EVP factor, according to Randstad.

Employees are now prioritising work-life balance during the pandemic compared to the period before the COVID-19 hits, according to Randstad.

Randstand said that whilst attractive salary and benefits still rank as the most important employee value propositions (EVP) factor that organisations can offer at 62%, the work-life balance came second at 60%.

For Hong Kong, 60% of the respondents ranked “work-life balance” as the top EVP factor in 2021 compared to 57% in 2020 pre-COVID, whilst in Singapore, it rose to 74% from 62%, and in Malaysia, it increased to 59% from 48%.

Randstand noted that in the 2021 survey, respondents were free to choose as many EVY factors that were important to them among the list of 16, whereas in 2020, they were only allowed to choose five.

“Valuing work-life balance has been a notable trend across all three markets over the years, but there has been a significant spike since the pandemic began,” Randstand said in its “The Future of Work is Remote” study.

“One of the reasons for the increasing emphasis on work-life balance is the sudden shift from office to remote work,” it added.

Randstad noted that during the initial stages of the transition to remote work, employees struggle with “blurring boundaries between work and personal life, distractions from other members of their households, and lack of proper resources or infrastructure to maintain productivity.”

There is also a shift in work preferences among employees, with 59% expecting flexible work hours to be the norm, 58% wanting more work from home opportunities, whilst 11% were happy to return to how things were before the pandemic, citing a 2020 study by Skillsoft.

Randstad also noted that employees have realised the perks of flexible work arrangements, as they are able to save more time and money on commuting, as well as spend more time with their loved ones and “gain more control over how and when they work.”

It noted that 16 Human Resource professionals it interviewed said the majority of their employees want to retain remote and flexible working setup as a standard offering.

“Employers are also changing their tune about remote or flexible work. HR professionals found that remote work has significantly improved productivity and reduced costs for their companies. These benefits, and the general desire for remote work amongst employees, have emboldened many companies to continue offering hybrid work options for the long term,” it said.

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