News releases

May 20, 2020

Health Conscious Office Workers Appreciate Benefits of Working From Home

***Almost 90% of office workers are confident in committing to a healthy lifestyle after the pandemic***

***Over 80% felt more mentally relaxed working from home during the coronavirus outbreak***

Hong Kong, May 20, 2020 – Sun Life Hong Kong Limited (“the Company” or “Sun Life Hong Kong”) today announced its latest “Health and Wellbeing at Work” survey in Hong Kong. The survey found that 64% of respondents are satisfied or very satisfied with the human resources policies at their company during the pandemic, with 53% enjoying an improved sense of belonging. Of those surveyed, 63% described their current mood as content, and 72% ranked health as their top life goal for the next five years.

The survey showed that 62% of office workers worked from home during the coronavirus outbreak in Hong Kong (January to April 2020). Among them, 84% said the arrangement provided for flexiblity to run personal errands, and 81% claimed they felt more mentally relaxed. Meanwhile, 69% agreed that working from home improved relationships with family members in the same household. Most respondents believe flexible working arrangements, including working from home (73%), flexitime (83%) and compressed working hours (77%)1, should remain in place after the pandemic eases. This suggests that flexible working arrangements could become the new normal and beneficial to the physical and mental wellbeing of office workers.

The survey also found that 82% and 67% of respondents felt happy to spend less time face-to-face with their superiors and co-workers respectively while working from home.

Sun Life Hong Kong commissioned YouGov to survey 810 office workers, aged 18 to 64, on their attitudes towards health and happiness, workplace and mental health, as well as the coronavirus outbreak’s impact on lifestyle and work environments. The survey was conducted via online questionnaire between April 29 and May 6, 2020.

Haymans Fung, Chief Marketing and Digital Officer of Sun Life Hong Kong Limited, said, “At Sun Life, we believe that life is always brighter under the sun. In addition to providing our clients with attentive financial planning and wealth solutions, we also recognize the significance of maintaining good health, especially for office workers and their loved ones. This survey provides comprehensive insight into the mentality of office workers and the health issues they face in the workplace. We remain dedicated to help our clients live wonderful lives through diligent financial planning and thorough health protection.”

Locals On The Move, Personal Satisfaction Influenced by Mentality

Over 70% of respondents have prioritized health as their primary life goal in the next five years, and consider health as the most important aspect of life. 88% of those surveyed are confident in maintaining these convictions after the pandemic passes.

Office workers with a precautious approach to health are more satisfied with their physical health (81%), compared to the average of 65%, and financial health (62%), compared to the average of 50%, and are generally happier (75%), compared to the average of 63%. In comparison, for those who take a more laid-back approach, only 53% and 40% are satisfied with their physical health and financial health respectively, and only 51% feel happy.

Reactive Approach to Health Still the Norm

It is worth noting that 64% of respondents either take notice of personal health only when symptoms appear, or never pay serious attention to their health conditions. Over half of respondents hold an imprudent or transient attitude towards health, with many taking health seriously only when serious illness arise, or believe they can be young and reckless. The survey also reveals that 60% of respondents have taken proactive steps to improve their health. For those who have yet to act, over half adopt a “carefree” approach and see it as the general case in Hong Kong. Nevertheless, it is encouraging that office workers who have already purchased medical protection are likely to be more health conscious, with 66% already addressing health-related problems proactively.

Positivity and Optimism Despite Pandemic, Work-Related Health Issues Still Present

The survey has found that 63% of office workers are in a positive mood, with 56% noting a higher or same level of happiness compared to six months earlier. However, respondents were generally dissatisfied with their financial health, highlighting the need for long-term financial planning to provide assurance for office workers. While 43% of those who felt happy found happiness in contentment, the survey also found that those who proactively improved on their health felt more positive than those who did not, suggesting that a healthy lifestyle may boost happiness.

More than half (55%) of office workers face “extremely” or “relatively” high pressure at work, with the most common causes being workload and difficult tasks (67%), job security and pay cut concerns under the economic downturn (59%), and unrecognized efforts at work (57%). The top three signs of burnout are frequent fatigue (56%), lack of motivation to exercise or going outdoors (48%), and forgetfulness (47%).

The survey also identified the top three work-related health issues, which include insomnia or poor sleeping quality (56%), dry eyes (55%), and muscle strain (54%). The three main causes for these issues are fatigue caused by busy work schedule (59%), mental stress (58%), and poor posture at work (50%).

Fung said, “We learned that 60% of office workers are proactively improving their health to avoid serious illness and hefty medical expenses. As an insurance company rooted in Hong Kong for over 120 years, we remain devoted to providing our clients with high-quality medical protection solutions, and encourage our clients, employees and the community to maintain health through various activities. We are delighted to see an increase in awareness of health maintenance among Hong Kong people. Sun Life Hong Kong will continue to work hand in hand with our clients on their path towards a healthier life.”

 

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Note to Editors:

  1. Compressed working hours allow employees to compress a regular working week into fewer days. (For example, rearranging all working hours to Monday-Thursday for a four-day working week).
  2. The different health-related mentalities featured in the survey include: the “precautious” type (those who maintain a healthy lifestyle at an early stage); the “transient” type (easily influenced but unable to sustain awareness of health); the “laid-back” type (only take health seriously when issues arise); the “live and learn” type (those who have been seriously ill and have come to realise the importance of staying healthy); and the “young and reckless” type (those who believe they can afford to be reckless with health while being young).

Photo Caption: Haymans Fung, Chief Marketing and Digital Officer of Sun Life Hong Kong Limited

About Sun Life

SLF Inc. is a leading international financial services organization providing insurance, wealth and asset management solutions to individual and corporate Clients. Sun Life has operations in a number of markets worldwide, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, India, China, Australia, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Bermuda. As of March 31, 2020, Sun Life had total AUM of CAD$1,023 billion. For more information please visit www.sunlife.com.

Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE) and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under the ticker symbol SLF. Sun Life Financial Inc. is the holding company of Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada. Sun Life Hong Kong Limited is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada.