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About two in five respondents (42%) in Hong Kong surveyed in Randstad's latest report have not felt supported by their employers, either mentally and emotionally, during the pandemic. 

By comparison, only 16% of respondents in mainland China and 27% of respondents in Singapore felt the same. 

Additionally, half of the respondents (51%) in Hong Kong said they were dissatisfied with their employers throughout the year, the worst in the region. 

“Working from home may sometimes cause greater stress than being in the office. Without social interactions and mental health support during at a lockdown, there is a risk in employees detaching themselves from the job," said Natellie Sun, managing director of Search & Selection Randstad Greater China.

"While HR teams should explore and ideate fun initiatives that can be conducted virtually to foster a positive and encouraging culture, senior executives and managers have an equally important role to play in addressing the challenges that their employees face. Being able to step up to show support or take prompt actions shows the employees that the organisation cares about their well-being," she added.

When the pandemic is over, survey respondents expected their employers to push out initiatives such as salary protection (57%), improved health insurance (46%), and training programmes (38%). The least wanted initiatives include employee assistance programmes (e.g. psychological support) (16%), team collaboration (25%), and office equipment and technology for remote working (27%).

When asked about their ideal work environment in a post-Covid world, about one third pictured a combination of working from home and going to the office, or having the flexibility to shift their work hour. About one in five respondents prefer always working in an office, outside home. Only 5% of respondents would like to work from home all the time. 

The report also found out that even with the pandemic, Hongkongers are strongly motivated to change jobs. One in three respondents has changed their jobs between April and October last year. The top reasons are personal desire for change (44%), for better employment conditions (41%), and personal ambition in the management field (27%). 

The survey, which highlights the biggest concerns and challenges job seekers face in the employment market, was conducted in October across 34 markets around the world, with a minimum of 400 respondents in each market.