Global tech giant Samsung Electronics has begun granting its employees more flexibility in scheduling their work hours in an aim to promote a more creative and efficient office culture.
Starting from late March, all employees at Samsung Electronics, excluding factory workers at the production sites, are able to freely adjust their working hours. The only requirement is that they work at least four hours a day, and fill 40 hours each week.
The new work policy goes a step further in granting employees more freedom in comparison to the earlier system, which mandated them to work eight hours a day, though they could choose their office timings.
The company’s design and R&D departments have already been implementing the new system since July 2014. Now, it has been expanded to include most employees, including those in management.
This policy change is part of Samsung’s ongoing efforts to foster a more creative organizational culture under the slogan “Work Smart, Think Hard, Build Trust.”
Samsung Group said it plans to apply the new policy at other affiliates in the future as well.
“The new system is part of Samsung’s continued efforts to ‘Work Smart’ ― to help each employee work more efficiently and creatively by granting them more independence and flexibility in choosing their working hours,” a company PR official said.
Workers at Samsung Electronics welcomed the change, saying the new policy will come in handy during personal emergencies ― such as going to the hospital or bank ― or planning vacations more efficiently.
“I think the new system will be useful for scheduling hospital appointments or vacations, since we can now simply adjust our working hours instead of taking the day off,” said a 26-year-old female marketer at the company surnamed Kang.
At the same time, employees also remained skeptical about the likelihood of taking full advantage of the new system.
“Given that ‘standard work hours’ are still intact and my work involves cooperating with other departments and coworkers, I don’t think I’ll be able to arrange my work hours freely,” Kang said.
“Realistically, we can’t really change our working hours day-by-day,” said a 26-year-old male surnamed Park, who works at Samsung Electronics’ memory chip business.
“Whether the new policy will be effective will depend on each employee’s work schedules and also how different department heads handle the changed system.”
By Sohn Ji-young (firstname.lastname@example.org)