What drives happiness in Hong Kong’s workplaces?

As organisations discover the effect a happy workforce has on productivity, Robert Half reveals the drivers behind employee happiness. Read more here.

With the longest working hours in the world , few holidays compared to most countries and rising cost of living, it can be a challenge for employers in Hong Kong to make sure that their employees are happy. A new report It’s time we all work happy™: The secrets of the happiest companies and employees, commissioned by specialised recruitment company Robert Half, reveals the drivers behind employee happiness and how businesses can nurture a positive work culture. 

According to the research, having pride in the organisation, being treated with respect and feeling appreciated are the three global key drivers of workplace happiness. 

Adam Johnston, Managing Director at Robert Half Hong Kong said: “It is clear from the research that the key ingredients essential to workplace happiness directly apply to the Hong Kong workplace. Hong Kong professionals have among the longest working weeks around the world, and companies can only benefit from having a happier workplace whilst also increasing productivity.”

The report reveals six key factors that contribute to workplace happiness – including:

1.    Right fit for the job and company: When companies hire people who fit well with their workplace culture, they acclimatise with greater ease and begin making substantive contributions quickly.
2.    A sense of empowerment: Empowering staff to make decisions on their own, or with minimal direction from superiors, improves employee happiness.
3.    Feeling appreciated: Establishing a positive working environment where employees feel appreciated for the work they do will make employees happier.
4.    Interesting and meaningful work: Gaining a sense of meaningful progress and achievement and being proud of the organisation are crucial elements for employee happiness.
5.    A sense of fairness: Being treated with fairness and respect – whether it’s about remuneration, decision-making or workplace behaviour - is one of the key drivers of workplace happiness.
6.    Positive workplace relationships: Maintaining healthy, supportive workplace relationships is an important source of happiness for employees.

“Employee happiness is pivotal to an organisation’s success as happy employees are not only more engaged and motivated, they are also more productive and innovative which in turn leads to business success. With Hong Kong companies having a global reputation for ambition and success, employee happiness is – and should be - a top business priority for companies seeking a competitive edge.”

“Hong Kong businesses should take a proactive approach towards ensuring workplace happiness by not only promoting staff empowerment and a positive company culture, but also by creating a culture of staff appreciation and fairness and respect for the entire workforce.”

“Workplace happiness starts with finding candidates who are the right fit for the role and the company. The foundations for building a happy workforce lie in sourcing the right professionals, who have a genuine interest in the job, the proper skills and temperament. This allows employees to build satisfying and fulfilling careers in the long-term while adding significant value to their organisation’s success,” concluded Adam Johnston.


About the research 
This study was developed by Robert Half and conducted by an independent research firm. The study is based on the results of an online survey of 24,000 working professionals from companies across Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Netherlands, UK and US with the results segmented by size, sector and geographic location. Robert Half partnered with Happiness Works to conduct the research study.


Katherine Mills
Public Relations Manager, Asia Pacific
P: +61 2 8028 7757
E: [email protected]