With coronavirus panic in Hong Kong increasing as the number of confirmed cases steadily rise, companies have been taking steps to reduce the chances of physical contact by telling employees to work from home.
Of course, as anyone who’s worked from home knows, the arrangement comes with its own risks, including the temptation to do anything but work, as a group of bank management trainees are finding out the hard way.
According to Apple Daily, Hang Seng Bank have given a group of six management trainees warning letters after photos of them hiking — when they should have been working — went viral.
One of the photos was a group selfie with the caption “people in the wild,” and the second tagged the group’s location as the popular hiking spot Red Incense Burner Hill — also known as Braemar Hill — along with the caption “Best WFH [work-from-home] activity,” and included the Instagram handles of the other trainees.
Shocking though it may be some 15 years after the rise of social media, the trainees apparently still weren’t aware that the things you post on social media are there for all to see, and their IG profiles hadn’t been set to private. As such, the photos went viral, and Hang Seng Bank’s human resources department had to step in.
The bank released a statement saying that what the trainees did was “not excusable,” but noted that they were new and might not be familiar with the work-from-home arrangements.
“We are aware that there have been online discussions relating to the matter,” the statement continued. “We view the matter with grave seriousness. The bank has an established mechanism to deal with such incidents and we will continue to strictly follow up on the matter.”
The incident attracted comments from netizens saying that the group must have mistaken WFH to mean “work from hill” (cute), while others joked that the trainees must work for the “hiking bank” (“hiking” in Cantonese is pronounced “hang san“).
Others rightly noted that the whole debacle could have been avoided if they hadn’t posted pictures of their hike in the first place.
“The problem isn’t that they went hiking, the problem is that they shared it online,” one said.
“This incident just goes to show that even if you’ve graduated from university, it doesn’t mean you have a brain,” said another.
The government has implemented its own work-from-home scheme since the coronavirus outbreak began, and has encouraged private employers to do so as well. At this point, Hong Kong has 49 confirmed coronavirus cases, of whom only one so far has died.
Paywall: You’re outta here, Coconuts stories are free for all
We have removed our paywall on all Coconuts stories. This does not mean the end of COCO+ Membership at all, but the value proposition is changing.
Rather than being a transactional subscription – whereby you pay for access to content – it is now a true membership program – whereby Coconuts stories are free for everyone but super-fans can monetarily support our independent journalism, and get added member benefits.
If you'd like to support Coconuts, you can become a COCO+ Member for as little as US$5 per year. Thank you!