Stop Being a Slave of Overwork Culture
Hong Kong is a hustle and bustle city, where people work day and night, or even burn the midnight oil. It is saddening yet true that labour from different sectors in Hong Kong overworking is not a rare sight. The much-concerned situation is attributed to various reasons.
A lack of staff in different sectors obviously contributes to the overwork culture. Some jobs like cleaners are poorly-paid and physically exhausting, discouraging people to join in. There is also a lack of trained talents in healthcare sector. The introduction of minimum wage rate is another factor increasing the operation costs of employers, explaining why many of them employ less staff. As a result, workers in different sectors have to work for longer hours, so as to meet the target of work. This is no stranger that Hong Kong citizens face tremendous workload, and working overtime is the answer.
Poor people hoping to make ends meet is another cause leading to the overwork culture. While Hong Kong is an affluent city, it is ironic that many people are underprivileged, which is exposed by the fact that 1.35 million people are living under the poverty line. Despite the subsidies provided by the government, facing the inflation problem, hardly can the poor ones support their basic needs. In the hope of relieving immerse strain on their daily expenses, the desperate ones have no choice but to overwork so as to earn more income.
At the same time, some people overwork in order to be appreciated by their employers. Hong Kong people are becoming more money-minded. Having a highly-paid job is one of their goals. Hoping to show their efforts made in their companies, they overwork, taking as many responsibilities as possible. Overwork even becomes a badge of honour to them. It comes as no surprise that most people, if not all, shoulder unrelenting stress and work for long hours. Yet sadly, they are willing to.
Despite the ubiquitous overwork culture in Hong Kong, it takes a toll on people’s quality of life, both physically and mentally. In fact, this also undermines the working efficiency, and in the long term is doing harm to the labour, employers and our society.
There are, still, some solutions to turn around the alarming phenomenon. More subsidies should be distributed to the underprivileged, so as to relieve their financial burden. They will be less likely to choose to overwork in order to make ends meet as a result. Employers can also be the ones receiving subsidies, increasing their financial budget, so they can employ more workers and lessen the workload of the current employees.
Introducing standard working hours is also a possible measure. This helps set a limit on the working time of the employees, encouraging them to have a balanced lifestyle, while they are guaranteed to be paid more if they work for longer hours than required. Despite the difficulty to implement it to certain sectors, the government can make reference to other countries, for instance, South Korea and Japan for legislation, so that the policy can be carried out.
It is high time all parties joined hands to ease the overwork culture so that the already hard-working Hong Kong people will not fall victim to the trend, but be smart workers.