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Workplace new normal Updated: 2020-08-04 09:13:03 KST

The IMPACT of the PANDEMIC has been PERVADING EVERY ASPECT of our lives including our WORKPLACE and the WAY we work.
From the HIRING PROCESS to the WORKING ENVIRONMENT employees and employers across the globe are ADAPTING to a NEW NORMAL.
I have Kim Dami here in the studio with more.
Welcome, Dami.

Good afternoon, Sunhee.

Dami let's begin with the changes in the working environment as many are being advised to tackle their professional affairs from their private quarters.

Right, hundreds of thousands of workers here in the country are holed up in their homes, which have become their new workplace.
Actually, a lot of local businesses are encouraging employees to work from home to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.
A local survey shows that nearly half of the respondents found remote working to be efficient, mostly due to the lack of commute times, unnecessary meetings and other menial tasks.

(KOREAN - )
"I love that my commute is shorter and that I can really focus on my work because I'm alone. Also, we've replaced regular face-to-face meetings with video conference calls and online messengers, which work just fine. But there are also limitations. For examples, it sometimes takes longer to get work done in a chatroom."

(ENGLISH - )
"My work schedule at home looks the same as before. It starts from nine and ends at six. The only difference is that I'm getting up later and eating dinner earlier."

Working remotely can reduce work stress and eliminate hectic commutes, but for some people, it can be a burden.

(KOREAN - )
"I have to take care of my children because all the kindergartens and schools are postponing the new semester. After being told to stay at home, I'm working and looking after my kids at the same time."

Experts note that tele-working is unlikely to be a fleeting trend.
If anything, the abundance of related new technology hitting the market is a clear indicator that these changes are here to stay.

(ENGLISH - ) SKYPE , Seoul, S. Korea
"There are many different kinds of apps and businesses that allow a more productive and enjoyable use of time for employees who are working from home. This is something that's worth betting on in terms of future investment."

And I hear this trend is universal?

Yes, there appears to be a similar shift, because as of the end of last month, only about eight percent of all workers who were sent home have returned to the office.
Google is letting its employees work from home for at least another year, a move that shows the tech industry is bracing for a long pandemic.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai emailed Google employees late last month that the company is "extending its global voluntary work-from-home option through the end of June 2021, for roles that don't need to be in the office.'
That means nearly 200-thosuand full-time and contract workers will continue to work from home for the time being.
Elsewhere, Twitter is allowing its employees to work from home for as long as they want, even if the pandemic draws to a conclusion.
So, Twitter employees can choose to work remotely on a permanent basis, if they are not required to be in the office.
Those who wish to return to the office can do so, but they won't reopen until September at the earliest.

Hiring practices have also marked a shift Dami amid the pandemic?

Right, to minimize physical contact, local firms are now using online platforms to hire workers.
Samsung Group held online recruitment exams for the first time back in June.
Applicants took the test at home, under remote supervision from Samsung.

(KOREAN )
"Now, I'll check the applicants' environments one by one. Please follow my instructions as I call out your name. For the rest of the applicants, please stand by with your face towards the camera."

With Samsung leading the way, some say the demand for remote hiring may increase in the future.
They note that it saves time and expenses compared to offline recruitment.

(KOREAN - )
"This non-contact recruitment can reduce the spread of COVID-19 and the time and cost of the existing hiring process. I think it's going to continue to be an option in the future."

But of course, the COVID-19 pandemic has taken away hundreds of thousands of jobs.
In fact, LG Group will scrap its annual open recruitment period with a year-round hiring system for the second half of the year.
For the last six decades, LG has been hiring employees in two batches every year.
They will now hire over 70 percent of their new workers through corporate internship programs.

Meanwhile there also appears to be strong government support for remote working?

Yes, the government plans to offer small and mid-sized firms up to 16-thousand dollars each, to set up remote working equipment and software.
It will also invest some two million dollars into developing 5G virtual reality and hologram conferencing apps to further support work-from-home policies.
Plus, there's also South Korea's ambitious New Deal Project, which aims to create nearly two million new jobs in green and digital industries.

Alright Dami thank you for that report and hope to see you again soon.

My pleasure.
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