Most Hongkongers work overtime without extra pay, a survey has found, with companies struggling to offer non-monetary compensation that meets their wants and needs. The Continuing Professional Development Alliance survey found 93.3 per cent of professional employees work overtime, with 41.3 per cent working one to two hours overtime a day, and 76.3 per cent working overtime three or more days a week. Although the government has encouraged companies to follow a five-day work week, close to half of employees work more. Only 14.3 per cent receive monetary compensation. 'Often it doesn't make sense financially for a company to pay overtime,' alliance chairwoman Virginia Choi Wai-kam said yesterday. 'Instead, employers are thinking of more innovative ways to compensate them.' Companies were offering 'wellness activities' like community work, health seminars and first-aid training, and bonuses like extra days off or flowers and cards on Mother's and Father's days. The results show companies are missing the mark. Whereas companies most often offered volunteer work, discussions about drugs in the workplace, and interpersonal and personal development programmes, employees said family leave benefits, health checks and flexible work arrangements made them happier. Companies might have hit on something with interpersonal and personal development programmes, however, as 76.4 per cent of respondents felt they were either important or very important. Mrs Choi said employers had sought more creative means of compensation in the past 10 years because the mainland had drained a lot of talent from Hong Kong. This year, with low unemployment and high staff turnover, competition for skilled professionals was even higher. Companies should introduce a flexible schedule for mothers to allow them to take care of children, Institute of Chartered Secretaries president Natalia Seng Sze Ka-mee said. And Institute of Housing president Henry Chan Sai-lun said flexible timetables suited housing and real estate workers well because they often needed to work on weekends. The alliance compiled the survey using responses to a questionnaire from 434 professionals, most with 10 or more years' experience. The results were presented yesterday at the Continuing Professional Development Seminar 2008 jointly organised by the alliance and the South China Morning Post.