Sunday, 13 October, 2019

South Korea to shut down computers to curb overwork

Franck Michel  Flickr Franck Michel Flickr
Patty Aguilar | 24 March, 2018, 11:03

The South Korean parliament passed a law last month cutting down the maximum weekly work hours from 68-which made the country's work week the second-longest in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) after Mexico-to 52 a week.

The culture of overwork has taken over the world, with exhausted employees working relentlessly to meet often unrealistic deadlines.

The government in South Korea's capital is introducing a new initiative to force its employees to leave work on time - by powering down all their computers at 20:00 on Fridays.

The shutdown initiative by the Seoul Metropolitan Government will reportedly work in three phases. In May, computers will shut off at 7:00 p.m. every Friday. From May onwards, the programme will be in full-swing, with computers shut off by 7 p.m. every Friday.

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A lot of them will be disappointed, however, as only in special circumstances will exemptions be permitted.

Government employees in South Korea work about 2,739 hours a year, according to South Korea's Yonhap News Agency.

According to the Ministry of Personnel and Management, employees in public service work 2738 hours per person each year on average.

While overworked employees might enjoy a forced reprieve from screen time leading into the weekend, a majority of workers seem to be against the program. Both countries have one of the shortest working hours, yet are rated among the highest in competitiveness in the world.

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