Hong Kong conglomerate New World Group will launch new family-friendly measures for employees, the chief of which are a four-and-a-half-day work week and a work-from-home day once a week. The pilot programme will be implemented from July to September this year and will subsequently be evaluated.

The group said the initiative will be introduced in their New World Development, K11 and NWS Corporate Office business units. The aim of this programme is to help employees maintain a healthy work-life balance and adapt to the new normal at work.

The main features of this initiative are:

  • The Summer Fridays programme under which employees can take half-day leave every Friday with no change in salary.
  • Giving employees the option of working remotely one day a week for which they will get the latest technology and technical support so they can maintain close contact with their teams.
  • A hybrid work model to allow employees more flexibility in arranging their work hours and locations.
  • Alternative flexible work arrangements for employees who cannot avail the Summer Fridays benefits.

This development comes after Hong Kong ranked No. 2 among the Top Overworked Cities in the world, according to Kisi’s Cities with the Best Work-Life Balance 2022 survey. The study took into account the work intensity, how society and institutions supported residents during the Covid-19 pandemic, and the liveability of 100 cities across the globe.

In addition, the 2022 edition of the Randstad Employer Brand Research study found that Hong Kong employees now place more value on work-life balance than pay packages. According to the study, over 60% of respondents voted work-life balance as the most important employee value proposition, and 85% of them took steps to improve this aspect by putting in less overtime or working more flexible hours.

Header image credits: New World Group

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From the Middle East to the Far East and a couple of places in between, Anjali has lived in no fewer than seven cities in Asia, and has travelled extensively in the region. She worked as a lifestyle journalist in India before coming to Hong Kong, where her favourite thing to do is island-hopping with her daughter. You can check out her musings on motherhood, courtesy her Instagram profile.

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