Hong Kong bosses most demanding

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 26 April, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 26 April, 2011, 12:00am


Hong Kong's employers are the most demanding among their Asia-Pacific peers.

A survey by consulting firm Robert Half showed that 68 per cent of Hong Kong's bosses expect employees to be available or contactable while on annual leave or outside office hours.

This was well above the regional average of 40 per cent. In other places surveyed, about 45 per cent of Singapore employers said they wanted their staff to be contactable while on leave, 22 per cent of Australian employers expected the same and New Zealand had just 20 per cent of bosses wanting staff to be available.

The Robert Half Workplace Survey also revealed that the highest demand is on middle managers, with 76 per cent of respondents indicating they expect middle managers to be available while on holiday or outside office hours, compared with 47 per cent for senior management or directors, and 23 per cent for junior or entry level staff.

'In an environment where employees have had to help companies 'do more, with less' for some time, many are in need of a healthier work-life balance,' says Andrew Morris, managing director, Greater China, at Robert Half International.

'While technology can keep us connected 24/7, employers should resist the temptation to phone or e-mail employees outside work hours unless it's truly urgent.

'Employers must respect their staff's need to properly unplug. They can do this by arranging proper 'handovers' when staff go on holiday and bringing in temporary staff to cover when key employees go on leave so that important tasks keep moving forward.'

On the flip side, the survey found that of finance professionals, Hongkongers stay tuned-in to work even while on leave, with 77 per cent saying they remain connected during time off.

Their Singapore-based counterparts came second with 69 per cent staying connected to work while on holidays.

New Zealanders were third with 62 per cent and Australians fourth with 58 per cent.

Just over half say that they stay connected because they need to be available in case of emergencies, while more than a third say technological advancements allow them access to information anywhere in the world.