Companies push for a return to office in Hong Kong as case numbers fall

Companies push for a return to office in Hong Kong as case numbers fall
FILE PHOTO: A child wearing a raincoat rides a scooter next to Victoria Harbour, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Hong Kong, China, March 25, 2022. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

Hong Kong’s case numbers are going back down, and people are prepping to head back to the office. For example, an internal memo verified by HSBC said that the company would allow 30% of its staff back in the Hong Kong office from April 1. But while some are excited about seeing their colleagues again, others aren’t too keen as this sort of transition back can create some social anxiety, especially after an extended period of Zoom calls in PJs, unbrushed hair and bare feet.

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“With the implementation of HSBC Safe Pass and further reduction in positive cases across the territory, HSBC will adjust its pandemic control measures,” the bank said in the note, referring to the vaccine mandate it laid down for staff earlier this month.

“Lockdown decreased my comfort zone. For years, I had worked on my social anxiety. Pre-pandemic, I had reached a point where I was able to put my hand up in team meetings, or share my opinions in groups without a second thought. During Covid, I found comfort in avoiding crowded spaces, and this set my social-anxiety habits back in motion. Before I knew it, I was struggling to leave the house, or feeling extreme terror of being picked on in virtual meetings,” said Meg, a 24-year-old living in London.

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