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Is Overworking a Problem in South Korea?

Putting in long hours at work is very common in South Korea. According to a 2018 study, government employees log an average of 2,739 hours a year, so if you subtract three weeks of annual mandated time off, that puts South Korean workers on the clock for 55.9 hours each week. In the capital city of Seoul, officials are trying change what has been described as a “culture of working overtime.” As of May 2018, the Seoul Metropolitan Government shuts down its computers at 7 p.m. on Fridays to encourage employees to go home and take a break -- assuming they don't take their work home with them.

Pulling the plug on overwork:

  • In South Korea, people typically work 1,000 hours more than the average annual working hours in other developed nations, a survey found earlier this year.

  • The country’s national assembly even passed legislation in 2018 to reduce the maximum number of hours an employee (including those working for private companies) could work per week. The 68-hour limit was cut to 52 hours.

  • Japan also has a problem with overwork. In 2017, after a suicide was linked to overwork, the government gave employees the chance to leave work early one day a month. Only 11 percent participated.

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Discuss this Article

anon1000384
Post 1

I like very much the hard work and discipline of the people from these people.

And most of all, the respect they show in life. Respect should be thought in USA also. Respect toward each others and our president(whomever, maybe).

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