Samsung Electronics temporarily allows its workforce to work four days a week. It remains to be seen whether the measure is a prelude to the tech giant’s full-fledged introduction of a four-day work week system. Photo by Moon Jae-won/UPI News Korea

Samsung Electronics, the world’s largest maker of memory chips and smartphones, will temporarily allow its employees to work four days a week due to the outbreak of the novel COVID-19 coronavirus.

The Seoul-based company said Friday that its staffers at consumer electronics and IT & mobile communications divisions can work four days per week through May.

The temporary measure is not a complete four-day work week because employees should work overtime during the four days to meet statutory work hours.

Beginning in early 2019, South Korea enforced a 52-hour workweek, which is composed of 40 hours of regular work and 12 hours of overtime.

It remains to be seen whether Samsung Electronics would continue the four-day work week system beyond this June or reduce the mandatory work hour to introduce a genuine four-day work week system.

Although South Korea is notorious as a workaholic country, a few companies have tried to reduce the weekly working hour.

For example, Biometric technology company Supreme let its employees work four and a half days per week beginning in 2017. The high-tech company opens at 10 am and closes at 2:30 pm every Friday.

Eduwill, an education company, introduced a four-day work week last year to improve efficiency.

We can take a day off every week in line with a monthly schedule, which we have to submit in advance,” an Eduwill official told UPI News Korea.

He said that the shortened weeks led to more efficient meetings and higher productivity.


This article is provided by UPI News Korea. _ ED.