Almost one in three employees have considered quitting their job for a better work-life balance because they are working much longer hours than they want to, a survey has found. The survey of 1,013 full-time workers shows that Hongkongers put in an average of 48.4 hours a week, much longer than the 40 hours suggested by the International Labour Organisation. About 30 per cent of respondents said they would consider changing jobs to better balance their leisure and working lives. Nearly half of respondents aged between 15 and 29 said they would consider such a change. The survey is the fourth of its kind commissioned by Community Business, a non-government organisation. It was conducted by the Public Opinion Programme of the University of Hong Kong in July. Shaun Bernier, managing director of Community Business, said the work-life balance remained a problem, although average weekly working hours had dropped from 51.3 hours in 2006. 'Despite the current economic downturn, employees' expectations of work-life balance have not changed and the reality is actually far from what they consider ideal,' she said. In the survey, employees say the ideal work-life ratio is 62:38, meaning they would prefer to spend 62 per cent of their time at work. However, in reality, the ratio stands at 83:17. More than a third of respondents said they spent less than an hour a day on leisure activities, such as meeting friends, exercising or watching films. And 7.8 per cent said they had no time to do them at all. A poor balance in working and personal life has taken its toll on many employees. More than half of respondents suffered from prolonged fatigue, sleepiness and extreme tiredness, while three in 10 people complained of insomnia and poor diet. Another 40 per cent said they had no time for their partners and families. The study found that younger people were more concerned about their work-life balance, with 70 per cent aged below 39 believing it was important for employers to address the issue. 'We can see that young people would like to place a higher priority on work-life balance,' Bernier said. 'No matter what the economy is like, they still felt they have a choice for a good balance in their life.' To improve the situation she suggested employers could consider a five-day working week, giving more paid annual leave, offering staff the option of working from home and making work hours more flexible.