Most HK workers feel their jobs are at risk in the digital era

Hong Kong workers fear their jobs are at risk in the digital economy (Image ALotOfPeople / iStockPhoto)

The majority (57%) of Hong Kong workers feel their jobs are at risk due to the arrival of the digital economy, and 43% feel that they don't have the right skills to compete in it, according to a new survey.

The survey, conducted by IDC for Workday, found 30% of Hong Kong workers believe their employers or managers are not training or upskilling them for the digital economy. But 52% believe that upskilling is the employer's responsibility.

Manual jobs are the most at risk due to the digital economy such as the sorting of job applicants' CVs by HR people, operators at call centers or support centers.

Hong Kong workers are also among the most dissatisfied in the APAC region, with 23% stating that they are unhappy at their job, 81% being open to switching jobs given the right opportunity and 25% planning to leave their current employer within a year.

Major sources of dissatisfaction include gripes about compensation (22%), work/life balance (14%) and future career prospects in the face of digitalization (13%). These are also the top reasons for changing jobs among local employees.

But the challenge for employers is that the survey found that the more confident employees are that they have the required digital skillsets to thrive in the future economy, the more likely they are to be planning to leave their current company, Workday Asia Pacific president David Hope noted.

“Employers should make the effort to share their digitalization plans with staff they hope to develop, provide them with relevant skills and compensate them accordingly for their new roles or risk losing them to competitors,” he added.

“As we know from many research studies, the cost of hiring new employees is higher than developing existing staff and paying them more for their expanded skillset. Companies can use technology to help fashion career paths, stretch assignments and training to help retain valuable employees and make them digitally ready.”

IDC research director Daniel-Zoe Jimenez said the results demonstrate that digital transformation is having an impact on a macroeconomic scale.

“By 2021, at least 60% of APeJ GDP will be digitalized, with growth in every industry driven by digitally enhanced offerings, operations, and relationships,” he said.

“Every growing enterprise must become a ‘digital native’ in the way its executives and employees think and act, to challenge digital disruptors and become successful players in the digital economy, or may not survive.”

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