Businesspeople in Hong Kong recognise the importance of working mums for the local economy but the latest Regus research shows how critical flexibility is towards helping them balance work and family life.
Sixty-three percent of Hong Kong respondents said companies would be more productive if they hired more mothers returning to work after maternity.
Regus says that local respondents can take several steps to address this issue. Ninety-six percent of those interviewed in the city want to include providing flexible working hours to working mums.
Ninety-two percent of the respondents said mothers returning to work after maternity should be able to work closer to home.
Eighty-six percent want near-site crèche facilities, 82 percent want the option to choose video-conferencing over travel at least some of the time and 72 percent believe in job sharing.
Engagement in household duties
The most common reason for Hong Kong females to become economically inactive is 'engagement in household duties'.
Four out of ten (43.6%) of all local females aged 15 and over have to bear more responsibilities at home as compared to 1.7 percent of local males.
A 2011 Regus research indicated that 50 percent of local businesspeople in Hong Kong believed that returning mothers contributed valuable skills and experience to the city's labour market.
Sixty-four percent said that companies are doing a mistake if they don't tap the talent of returning mothers.
Hong Kong respondents of this latest research said that more fundamental changes to working habits are needed rather than just additional days of rest for returning mothers.
"Hong Kong respondents clearly believe that many women still struggle to balance work with the demands of family life," said Hans Leijten, vice-president, East Asia, Regus. "According to our survey, they believe that greater flexibility in terms of working hours and location is a key part of the solution to this problem."