How we work has changed completely, but will it last?Despite the world-famous internet speeds and leadership in chips and electronics, Korean companies have never been very enthusiastic about modernizing the workplace.
According to an April report by Samil PwC, Korea’s adoption rate of “smart work” practices — such as holding online meetings or allowing employees to work from home, or telecommute — is just 25 percent, while in other advanced economies in the United States and Europe the figure surpasses 50 percent.
But the coronavirus pandemic has changed things, creating an unprecedented push to adopt digitized workplaces and reduce contact between coworkers.
“Before, companies regarded smart work as a trend or choice. A lot of clients that came to me were people that had already accepted the concept,” said Agnes Choi, CEO of the smart work R&D company Beta Lab.
“After the Covid-19 outbreak, I was contacted by companies that know nothing about smart work and mid-sized companies that are relatively more conservative. The questions I get today are no longer ‘Do we really need this?’— it’s ‘How do we do it?’”
It’s clear that the pandemic has changed the way Koreans work this year, but the big question is: Will it last?
BY JEON TAE-GYU [firstname.lastname@example.org]