How often do you witness your parents, siblings, or any other family members going home all exhausted, giving you a weary smile, going straight to the shower and heading right to their bed afterwards? Do you notice any difference when they return home after long hours of work? It is not news to see that people are all fatigued and stressed out after a whole pile of work. A high level of work stress has been a widely concerned issue in Hong Kong and it is undeniable to say that the problem has been massively impacting Hong Kongers’ lives. With more and more Hong Kongers being affected by various problems due to the high level of stress and the fact that the problems can be afflicting anyone around us, it is necessary to dive in and take a more detailed look at the pivotal issue — a high level of work stress, and the possible ways of tackling it.
In such a competitive city where talent and resources can be easily found, it is almost safe to say that every worker in Hong Kong is experiencing some sort of work stress. Often times, in order to stand out in this overwhelmingly competitive working environment, bosses would push their employees to work harder and may give unrealistic deadlines for their tasks, especially during high seasons. Employees would have to work overtime until midnight, and for some extreme cases, some employees basically have to stay in their offices all day, every day that they just make their offices their “home”, instead of going back and forth between their workplace and accommodation in just an hour or two of rest.
Besides the stress given by their superiors, subordinates cannot help but push themselves to work harder just to survive in this competitive and unreasonably overpriced city. Pushing themselves to work 24/7 is almost like a daily routine to them. They know if they do not work 200% harder, someone better, more hard-working, more devoted will be replacing them. As a result, they become workaholics and try to improve their performance in a bid to increase their job security and make ends meet.
While working intensely, long working hours can lead to detrimental or even lethal health issues, both mentally and physically. Workers may experience mental disorders, such as depression and anxiety due to the immense amount of stress. Meanwhile, they can be afflicted by chronic diseases like diabetes, strokes, high blood pressure and cancer. A high level of work stress can impose deadly threats on any individuals. It is never an issue that can be taken lightly.
To tackle the issue, bosses are advised to limit their workers’ weekly overtime hours and allocate work evenly. Employees will be limited to work for a long period of time and therefore, will spare more time to rest. Superiors should not be short-sighted and only focus on making their subordinates work overtime and expect crowning achievements from them. Pushing them too hard will only result in their deteriorating health and lower their work performance. And for workers, work-life balance plays a crucial role in their lives. It is about time they re-evaluated their priorities in life and made adjustments to their working hours.
I know I am not in the best position to tell bosses and workers what they should do. But I feel that it is important to remind our loved ones who are working their fingers to the bone to try their best to strive for a balanced and healthy life. Life is never only about working. Instead, why not spend more time with our loved ones and live life to the fullest? You may say it is easier said than done. Indeed, it is. All we can do is to have our loved ones’ back whenever they need us and alleviate their pressure. At the end of the day, our support is, and will always be the silver-lining that brings them back to life.