Hong Kong's workplace stress tops theregion
1 in 4 working class suffer from mental health issues
Mental health support at workplace is seriouslyinsufficient
- AXAWellness Index 2020 -- Hong Kong is rated at 56 points, Macau at 65 points, and themainland Greater Bay Area cities ("GBA") at 74 points, out of 100.
- HongKong Index has fallen 3 points from last year, indicating the city's quality oflife has declined.
- Comparedto 2019, there is a drastic change in the importance of different wellnessdimensions and elements:
- o "Mental Wellbeing" has become the most important dimension for wellness in HK, Macau and GBA, whereas the importance of "Financial Wellbeing" has fallen across the region.
- o In Hong Kong, "Happiness" has moved up from the bottom of the top 10 wellness elements to become the most important one.
- o Hong Kong's workplace stress tops the region, but only 27% of working class in Hong Kong considered mental health support from employers was adequate.
HONG KONG, CHINA - MediaOutReach - 23 September 2020 - AXA Wellness Index surveymeasures six dimensions that affect the public's overall wellness, namely, PhysicalWellbeing, Mental Wellbeing, Financial Wellbeing, Social Wellbeing, Fulfilment,and Meaning and Value, as well as 30 elements under these dimensions, to betterunderstand the wellness needs and sentiments of Hong Kong, Macau and mainlandGBA populations. The 2020 survey was conducted online between 3 to 20 July2020, covering 2,100 respondents from Hong Kong, Macau and GBA. Among which,there were 1,000 Hong Kong residents aged 18-60 with monthly personal income ofat least HKD15,000 or liquid assets of HKD200,000 or more.
"Mental Wellbeing" is the most importantwellness dimension across regions
Hong Kong scored 56 points (out of 100) in the 2020 "AXA WellnessIndex", 3 points lower than in 2019; and 9 points and 18 points lower comparedto Macau and GBA respectively, showing Hong Kong's quality of life has declinedand was the lowest in the region. "Mental Wellbeing", which was considered the3rd or 4thimportant wellness dimension last year, has become the most important one across regions.In contrast, "Financial Wellbeing," which ranked 2nd across the region in thepast, has diminished its importance this year (Hong Kong: 3rd place; Macau: 5thplace; GBA: 5th place).
HongKong valued "Happiness" the most under the pandemic
Among the 30 elements under the six wellness dimensions, "Happiness", anelement of "Mental Wellbeing", has become much more important than before inthe whole region. For example, in HongKong, "Happiness" leapt forward by eight places and became the most crucial wellnesselement; whilst the importance of "Financial Wellbeing" related elementsdiminished (Able to accumulate wealth: 12thplace; Ownership ofproperty: 17th place; Able to pass on wealth to next generation: 30th place). Thechange might be attributed to the low satisfaction level of Hong Kongrespondents with their "Financial Wellbeing" (Hong Kong: 53 points; Macau: 60 points; GBA: 71 points) and theirsense of helplessness in wealth accumulation (Having enough savings forretirement: Hong Kong: 48 points; Macau: 60 points; GBA: 70 points).
Stressis a key issue in the whole region; Hong Kong is the least equipped to manage stress
Respondents felt mid-high level of stress in the past six months (HongKong: 84%; Macau: 81%; GBA: 67%), with work or education being the key sourcesof stress (Hong Kong: 65%; Macau: 58%; GBA: 73%). However, in stressmanagement, Hong Kong is not doing well when compared to Macau and GBA. Whenfacing stress, nearly 20% of Hong Kong respondentswould resort to negative actions such as drinking or smoking, while almost 10% woulddo nothing about it.
Workplacestress is highest in Hong Kong, but only 27% working class found enough supportfrom employers
Nearly half (47%) of the working class in HongKong have experienced a high degree of pressure in the past six months, muchhigher than Macau (24%) and GBA (38%) and almost 1 in 4 claimed that they weresuffering from mental health issues. Yet, nearly 40% said they had experience of going to work as usual despite stress/ mental health problems or were notwilling to discuss mental health/ stress problems with supervisors/employersdue to the fear of affecting promotion, the 80s-00s age groups are especiallyprone to doing so.
Compared to Macau (55%) and GBA (54%), only 27%of Hong Kong workers claimed workplace support on mental health was enough. Those whoconsidered they got sufficient mental support from work were mostly mid-high income individuals (withmonthly personal income of HKD30,000 or above), whereas those with monthlypersonal income of HKD20,000 or below, only less than 20% of them felt therewas adequate support at workplace.
Technology brings a multitude of concernsfor the working class
With remote working becoming the norm, theapplication of technology at work has become even wider. Though technology hasfacilitated work, over half of the working class in Hong Kong said technologyhas created new worries, such as "Communication technology makes me never shutdown from work" (35%), "Worried that my work will be replaceable by technology"(26%) and "Pressure from co-workers, as I'm not as tech-savvy as they are"(22%). Technology might also cause more stress because it could lengthen theworking hours. 23% of the respondents said they experienced stress because oflong working hours or workload in the past six months.
Ms AndreaWong, Chief Marketing and Customer Officer, AXA Hong Kong and Macau, said, "The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has aprofound impact on companies, employees, as well as the general public. Many feelstressed or anxious under this unexpected challenge. Mental Health is not onlya health issue, it also impacts our society as well as the economy. The WorldEconomic Forum has estimated that mental health problems could cause aboutUSD16 trillion in economic losses worldwide by 2030;therefore, the mental health of employees is an issue which cannot beignored.
In view of this, AXA Hong Kong took thelead to launch 'Mind Health', a dedicated employee mental health programme,last year. It provides comprehensive mental health support in three aspects, namely'education', 'prevention' and 'treatment" for employees with different mental healthneeds or areas of concern. We have also launched 'AXA BetterMe', a holisticplatform to support body and mind health, in July this year, offering differentphysical and mental health services, including a mindfulness meditation tool 'MindCharger'. Not only can our customers get holistic wellness support from 'AXABetterMe', the general public can also enjoy 2 very useful features -- 'Symptom Checker'and 'Mind Charger', which are both free and available by downloading our Emmaby AXA app.
10 Oct 2020 is World Mental Health Day. AXA HongKong will organise on our Facebook a special programme called 'AXA World MentalHealth Day Live Chat', with celebrities from different arena and medicalprofessionals to discuss common emotional conditions in an interactive andlight-hearted way. We hope to use different creative ways to raise awareness onthe important issue of mental health and do our part for the sustainabledevelopment of Hong Kong."
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 The survey was conducted by Kantar
 Survey by World Economic Forum2019: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/01/lets-make-2019-the-year-we-take-action-on-mental-health/
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