South Korea to stop public servants working long hours by shutting off their computers

midian182

Posts: 5,760   +46
Staff member

South Korea is a country where working to excess is considered normal, especially among public servants who are at the office 1000 hours more per year than in other developed countries. To try and combat this "culture of working overtime,” the government in Seoul is introducing a new initiative that will ensure its employees leave on time by shutting down all computers at 8 pm on Fridays

According to the BBC, government employees in South Korea work an average of 2739 hours per year. For comparison, public workers in member countries of OECD (the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) work 1763 hours annually.

The “shutdown initiative” is being rolled out in three phases across the next three months. Starting March 30, all Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) employees will have their computers shut down by 8 PM on Fridays. The second phase begins in April and will see the computers shut down at 7 PM on the second and fourth Friday of each month. The third and final stage starts in May, when the shutdown takes place at 7 PM every Friday.

An SMG statement said all employees will be subjected to the shutdown, though it is willing to make exemptions in special circumstances. But it seems the majority of workers aren’t willing to have their overtime cut—67.1 percent of government employees have asked to be exempt from the initiative.

The move comes after a recent law was passed by South Korea’s national assembly that reduced the maximum number of weekly working hours from 68 down to 52.

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senketsu

Imagine we had that problem here in the U.S. No, seriously. Imagine going to the DMV and feeling that the staff is putting in more than the absolute minimal amount of effort.
Sadly, it is almost always the same in Canada.
 
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Daithi

Posts: 91   +102
Imagine we had that problem here in the U.S. No, seriously. Imagine going to the DMV and feeling that the staff is putting in more than the absolute minimal amount of effort.
Imagine hearing that prompt and polite 30-something year old person you dealt with the last time you were there died of a heart attack or suicide. Imagine a culture where death by overwork is so common they have a specific word for it.
 

Cycloid Torus

Posts: 4,648   +1,447
So..I set my computer to do all sorts of automatic stuff (scan, backup, change lighting..) at a bit before 11pm. The message? Tomorrow is another day.
 
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Bluescreendeath

Posts: 232   +321
Imagine we had that problem here in the U.S. No, seriously. Imagine going to the DMV and feeling that the staff is putting in more than the absolute minimal amount of effort.
That's what happens when you have so much job security to the point where it's nearly impossible to get fired thanks to the federal government.
 
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Imagine we had that problem here in the U.S. No, seriously. Imagine going to the DMV and feeling that the staff is putting in more than the absolute minimal amount of effort.
Using the DMV as an example why this terrible problem would be somewhat good is serious cherry picking. Koreans are miserable with the extreme rat race many of them are stuck in and the young people regularly call it "Hell Korea". There's no need for extremes.
 

Godel

Posts: 224   +123
It makes me wonder about their productivity.

Are their employers genuinely getting twice the useful output from all this work or are the employees just pushing paper or data from place to place?

Could the companies achieve the same results with less hours by redesigning the jobs' workflows?
 

treetops

Posts: 2,969   +742
If you really think about, its crazy we go against our human nature and keep working. Do your feet hurt? Your brain gets pain signals so that you will sit down. Do you? No you don't, why? To pay your rent and keep your job.... Work is really a unnatural state... The main thing school teaches you is to get your butt up for work, so the man can keep his little cogs turning.
 

mailpup

Posts: 7,557   +702
TS Special Forces
If you really think about, its crazy we go against our human nature and keep working. Do your feet hurt? Your brain gets pain signals so that you will sit down. Do you? No you don't, why? To pay your rent and keep your job.... Work is really a unnatural state... The main thing school teaches you is to get your butt up for work, so the man can keep his little cogs turning.
Why be a helpless victim (not necessarily you personally)? One could start his own business. Someone has to and a lot of people have because if they didn't, where would all the victims work? :)
 

treetops

Posts: 2,969   +742
Why be a helpless victim (not necessarily you personally)? One could start his own business. Someone has to and a lot of people have because if they didn't, where would all the victims work? :)
Even if we all gave 100%% all the time the world still needs ditch diggers.
 

Camikazi

Posts: 981   +339
It makes me wonder about their productivity.

Are their employers genuinely getting twice the useful output from all this work or are the employees just pushing paper or data from place to place?

Could the companies achieve the same results with less hours by redesigning the jobs' workflows?
Their productivity does not go up, many studies have been done and beyond a certain amount of hours you get nothing done. Also, yes working less hours and getting more sleep does result in more productivity than more hours and less sleep.
 

Camikazi

Posts: 981   +339
If you really think about, its crazy we go against our human nature and keep working. Do your feet hurt? Your brain gets pain signals so that you will sit down. Do you? No you don't, why? To pay your rent and keep your job.... Work is really a unnatural state... The main thing school teaches you is to get your butt up for work, so the man can keep his little cogs turning.
Work is not unnatural, everything does work the problem is we are ignoring those little messages that say slow down or rest. Go look at any creature in the world and they all work to stay alive, have a home and get food, every single one does.
 

treetops

Posts: 2,969   +742
Work is not unnatural, everything does work the problem is we are ignoring those little messages that say slow down or rest. Go look at any creature in the world and they all work to stay alive, have a home and get food, every single one does.
I know I considered that. Before humans had farms and lived in the wild our average height was 6 feet+, because we ate such variety and were very healthy following our instincts. No we didn't have the longevity offered by dental and healthcare but we lived well and probably much happier.
 

Camikazi

Posts: 981   +339
I know I considered that. Before humans had farms and lived in the wild our average height was 6 feet+, because we ate such variety and were very healthy following our instincts. No we didn't have the longevity offered by dental and healthcare but we lived well and probably much happier.
All the remains I have read about show we are quite a bit taller and larger than ancient humans. All their remains point to an average height ranging from 4.8 to 5.5 feet tall. this is from a wide range of remains from many different areas and time periods. I habe not found any reliable information (quite a few sites claiming it but no proof) showing 6+ feet tall humans in the past.
 
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treetops

Posts: 2,969   +742
All the remains I have read about show we are quite a bit taller and larger than ancient humans. All their remains point to an average height ranging from 4.8 to 5.5 feet tall. this is from a wide range of remains from many different areas and time periods. I habe not found any reliable information (quite a few sites claiming it but no proof) showing 6+ feet tall humans in the past.
Watch the story of all of us, that's my source.