- Forty-three percent of businesses in Singapore are strongly confident in the growth of their business this year, compared to 30% of businesses in Hong Kong.
- Sixty-one percent of businesses in Singapore plan to hire more personnel, compared to 44% of businesses than Hong Kong this year.
The Compass Index recently compared business trends between Hong Kong and Singapore that businesses in Singapore are more optimistic and employees enjoy a better work life balance than in Hong Kong.
Based on client surveys, the Compass Index measured business trends in nine different countries in APAC. The respondents come from a cross section of startups, small and medium sized businesses and multinational companies.
Optimism in business growth
The Index shows that 43% of businesses in Singapore are strongly confident in the growth of their business this year, compared to 30% of businesses in Hong Kong. Singapore is also leading in the Global Financial Centres Index, placing only behind London and New York with regards to business environment, financial sector development and infrastructure.
Both governments have stepped up their efforts to support startups and small and medium sized businesses. In March, the Hong Kong government announced that its 2016-2017 Budget will see measures to support SMEs including tax cuts to injecting [HKD5 billion into the Innovation and Technology Fund (ITF). While the Singapore government has implemented special tax schemes to support newly incorporated companies, in addition to providing a startup cluster, Block 71, and research resources. Recently, the government launched SG-Innovate as a one-stop office to boost Singapore’s position as a financial technology hub.
Singaporean businesses are also more decisive in hiring than Hong Kong. The Index shows that 61% of businesses in Singapore plan to hire more personnel, compared to 44% of businesses than Hong Kong this year.
“Singapore and Hong Kong are the gates to Asia. They both offer unique selling points for businesses i.e. for businesses that want to tap the Chinese market, Hong Kong might be the better place; while for businesses that want to focus on Southeast Asian countries, Singapore would be the natural option,” said Andrew Chung, CEO of Compass Offices.
Work life balance
While more than half of people in Hong Kong and Singapore work between eight to nine hours on an average day, the Index indicates that 8% of Hong Kongers work more than 11 hours, compared to 6% of Singaporeans.
More Singaporeans do not bring work home as well. More than a quarter (27%) of Singaporeans have never brought work home, compared to less than 20% in Hong Kong.
Last year a survey carried out by Community Business, a non-profit organisation that is focusing on good business practices in Asia, suggested that more than 60% of 1,000 employees across Hong Kong feel that their work life balance is getting worse.
“Businesses in Hong Kong and Singapore are seen as the frontrunners in the region. So it is important for them to embrace the concept that work life balance is no longer a nice-to-have policy, (but a) pertinent way to encourage hard work and employees’ loyalty, and to stay on top of competition,” concluded Chung.