A bigger percentage of Hong Kong finance professionals work beyond their contracted work day than their counterparts in Australia and Singapore, according to the latest eFinancialCareers research.
The Money Never Stops survey, conducted by eFinancialCareers during the month of July, polled 1738 banking and finance workers in Singapore, 695 in Hong Kong and 306 in Australia.
The data showed that 72% of the respondents from Hong Kong work more than 46 hours per week, with nearly 14% working over 60 hours.
This compares to Singapore, where just under 70% of those polled said they worked 46 hours or more a week, with 11% clocking up more than 12 hours a day.
Australia, recently named the world’s happiest country by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development for the third year running, is home to finance workers who manage the best to stick to their contracted hours, with only half those polled saying they work more than 46 hours a week, and a mere 6.4% working 60 hours or more.
The 24/7 nature of financial services was evident in the survey, with four out of every ten respondents in both Hong Kong and Singapore saying that clients and colleagues can contact them anytime, including weekends, holidays and obviously after hours.
A similar number said that only weekends and holidays were off limits. In Australia the number was slightly lower, with 37% saying they were available all the time, and 38% restricting all day/all night access to the working week.
In Singapore, less than 15% of the research participants said they could only be reached during normal working hours, with 18% in Hong Kong saying the same thing. In Australia, however, nearly a quarter of the respondents said they could only be reached during work hours.
With so many people willing to be on standby for colleagues and clients at all times, it comes as little surprise that many have been awoken during the night by a phone call from a colleague or a client, with just over a third of the respondents across the entire survey reporting this interruption.
The financial services sector is also not kind to vacations plans or weekends, according to the research. In Hong Kong and Singapore, four out of ten people reported that they never take their full leave allowance, while two thirds of the respondents said their vacations had been interrupted by work issues. And three out of every four respondents said weekends had been interrupted by work.
In Australia more than half the finance workers who participated in the poll said they don’t take their full leave allocation, and more than half said vacations had been interrupted by work. They do fare better than their counterparts in Hong Kong and Singapore, with 69% saying weekends have been disrupted by work issues.
Australian finance workers report that their partners complain more often than not if vacations and weekends are interrupted, compared to their counterparts in Hong Kong and Singapore. This may explain why Australians experience fewer disruptions to holidays and weekends than finance workers in Hong Kong and Singapore.