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Shorter Work Week In South Korea

Samsung Goes For Four-day Work Week

Ananya Bhattacharya reports in a recent article that Samsung, South Korea's largest company, is implementing a four-day work week once a month for non-factory, full-time staff. Starting in June 2023, employees will be able to take off one Friday each month, typically the Friday of the week when payday falls on a Friday. The move follows an agreement between Samsung and its labor union.

In recent years, Samsung has been introducing various changes to promote a more flexible work environment, such as eliminating minimum office hours, relaxing dress codes for high-ranking employees, and providing expanded work hour options for pregnant employees. The company aims to improve work-life balance, particularly for its younger employees.

South Korea has one of the highest average annual working hours globally, and the government has proposed capping the work week at 69 hours. Which allows for more working hours, rather than fewer.

Other South Korean companies, including SK Hynix, Kakao, and CJ ENM, have also implemented similar flexible work arrangements. Notably, a trial of the four-day work week in the UK revealed that it led to increased involvement of men in childcare.

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