SEOUL, Jul 2. (Korea Bizwire) — As the new mandatory 52-hour work week comes into effect today, one office of a Samsung affiliate had many empty seats at 9 a.m. as the rain continued to pour down in the morning after a wet weekend.
At various Samsung subsidiaries, a newly implemented flexible hour system means that there is no set time that employees must be at work in the morning.
Because the electronics giant and its affiliates had already been making use of a similar system, the change in the overall atmosphere was not momentous, but as employees are now able to control their working hours on a monthly basis as opposed to the previous weekly basis, most feel less of a burden in trying to manage their working hours.
Although many of the nation’s top corporations such as Samsung Electronics, Hyundai Motor, SK Innovation and LG Electronics had a trial period to prepare for the official implementation of the 52-hour work week, there were still those who were worried about the system, unprepared about what the future would bring.
While a few expressed high expectations about their newly found work-life balance protected by the law, others were skeptical about the effectiveness of the new system, worrying about side effects and lowered productivity.
Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors said that little had changed because they had already implemented an “8 to 5” work day. The two companies, however, will keep close tabs on those who work overtime.
An official at SK Innovation also reflected the sentiment that not much was different, but since the work hour system had formally changed, those in charge of implementing the system internally were feeling the tension.
LG Electronics has changed its shuttle bus schedule such that buses leave the premises at 6:20 p.m., 20 minutes ahead of its existing scheduled time of 6:40 p.m.
An employee at LG Electronics said that he felt that times have changed after seeing the empty offices after work hours. “But it’s hard trying to finish all the work within the new time frame,” said the employee.
H. S. Seo (firstname.lastname@example.org)