Why does it matter?

  • Working overtime is normal in Hong Kong: A 2015 survey suggested that 20 per cent of people spend 4 to 6 hours working overtime each week, and another 19 per cent put in up to 8 hours extra.
  • Unsatisfactory mental health: 32 per cent of working people in Hong Kong have reported unsatisfactory mental health in 2017 — up from 29 per cent in the previous year.

Workplace Stress in Hong Kong

Workers in Hong Kong have reported higher rates of depression compared with workers in other developed cities. A key issue to bring attention to is stress. What many Hong Kong workers tend to ignore is how a constant state of stress at work affects us both physically and mentally. Below are a few tips you can use to make sure you are one step ahead of workplace stress:

Tips on handling workplace stress

Even though there are likely to be some things happening in your life that you can’t control, there are still lots of things you can do to manage the amount of pressure you’re under day to day.

Know your warning signs. Stress shows up in different ways for different people. For some people, they may notice that their sleep starts to suffer when they are more stressed. Others may notice they are snapping at their partner more, or that they are feeling tired or demotivated. You are the expert in your stress triggers, and can learn what the red flags are for you. Keep a closer eye on your own warning signs so that you can intervene early when you start to notice stress levels creeping up.

Look after yourself. Write down a list of five things you can do to look after yourself, and make sure you are fitting them in regularly — even if it is just a quiet coffee in the morning, or exercising twice a week.

Reach out to others for support. Speak to friends and family when you are feeling stressed. Everyone has been there, and just getting it off your chest might help you to feel like the stress is more manageable. The same goes for colleagues — by letting someone else know that you are feeling stressed, you might start up some useful conversations that help everyone out in the

Look out for each other. If you notice that a colleague seems more stressed, take a minute to check in with them and see if there is anything you can do to help.

Take a break. A change in environment can work wonders for stress levels. Take yourself out for a walk and unplug from your work emails for a few minutes. If you need something to help you to pull your mind away from work stress for 15 minutes, there are many free apps (e.g. Headspace, Calm, Breathe) you can use to talk you through exercises to help you to bring your mind away from work worries and back to the present moment.

Intervene early. It takes courage to admit that you’re finding things difficult, but the sooner you can let someone know that your current workload is not sustainable, the sooner you can ensure that things do not spiral out of control.

For further information on stress, mental health, and where to get help, please visit www.mind.org.hk. To contact us, please email [email protected]

This article is informative only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. For emergency contacts, please visit http://www.mind.org.hk/what-to-do-in-a-mental-health-emergency.