Complacency is a difficult habit to break. This is a major reason why so few employers in the private sector have done anything to help staff balance their working hours with time for other aspects of life. It costs so little to implement flexible arrangements. Many still cling to the belief that being a successful boss means squeezing the most working hours out of employees. Yet, this is a matter of diminishing returns once a certain limit has been reached. Many of our workers have reached that point, if a new survey is right. The latest reminder of our unhealthy working environment comes from the annual life-work balance survey by the University of Hong Kong's public opinion programme for Community Business, a corporate responsibility group. The study of 1,011 full-time workers aged 15 or above finds a third of them would consider leaving their jobs for a better balance. And 13 per cent say their bosses' attitude is the major factor in the imbalance. Work-related stress and imbalance are causing more than 60 per cent of workers to complain about chronic fatigue and extreme tiredness. This is not surprising. The city's workers deliver an average of 49 hours of work per week - roughly the same as last year and nine hours more than recommended by the International Labour Organisation. They spend 84 per cent of their time on work-related activities, but would prefer 62 per cent if they had a choice. People need to spend quality time with family and friends - and do the things they enjoy - to refresh their mind and spirit. A happy worker is more efficient and productive than one who is not. Helping workers to achieve a better balance is not difficult. But we need commitment to more creative arrangements such as flexible work hours, job-sharing and working from home. The civil service has adopted the five-day work week. The Productivity Council will offer male staff three-day paternity leave from next year. Some large corporations have switched to a five-day week, but many companies have not bothered. And many do not care much about alternative work arrangements. This is short-sighted. Our workers are working hard enough. We need them to work smarter, not harder.