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Telecom call center employees to work from home


South Korea’s three largest mobile carriers -- SK Telecom, KT and LG Uplus -- announced on Thursday that they will minimize the number of call center employees who commute to their offices, after the packed working environment was found vulnerable to the viral infection.

The decision came after some 90 people at a Seoul-based call center were tested positive for COVID-19 as of Wednesday afternoon.

SKT said it has currently allowed 1,500 call center employees -- about 25 percent of the workforce -- to work from home. The company added that it will allow other call center workers to work from home upon request.

KT currently has 300 call center employees who have been asked to telecommute, including pregnant women. The company has also adjusted employees’ work shifts to minimize group interactions. The company added it will encourage more workers to work from home in the near future.

Previously, KT ordered to reduce the number of Daegu-based commuters to 30 percent as the outbreak centered in the city of around 2.5 million residents.

LG Uplus too has ordered to minimize the number of commuters, starting with workers specializing in online counseling.

For the workers who need access to the intranet, LG Uplus said the company will have them work from home after resolving security and personal information leakage issues by March.

The total number of call center employees of the three major mobile carriers reach around 24,000 nationwide. KT has about 13,000 employees, while SK Telecom and LG Uplus have 6,000 and 5,000 workers, respectively.

By Shim Woo-hyun (