By Kim Hyun-bin
Some of Korea's largest companies are getting more in tune in accommodating the lifestyles of the millennial and the Generation Z (MZ) generations by creating employee benefit programs and a better work-life balance environment that includes increasing paid leave, implementing a four-day workweek and strengthening employee welfare policies.
LG Energy Solution (LGES), for instance, implemented a two day healing trip program for the first time at the Odaesan Mountain Natural Meditation Village in Hongcheon, Gangwon Province on May 12 and 13, where employees are able to learn meditation, Pilates and stress relief.
Following employee's positive responses for a pilot program last month, it decided to expand the program company-wide every month.
Samsung Electronics' Home Appliance Business Department, meanwhile, recently announced to its employees that it would introduce a gift day once a month.
On GIFT day, departmental meetings or events after 4 p.m. should be avoided, and employees should leave work before 5 p.m., while department dinners are also not to be held.
GIFT is an abbreviation for Go home, It's GIFT day, Find yourself, Take your time, the company explained.
Since 2016, Samsung Electronics has designated the 21st of every month as a family day to encourage employees to leave work on time so that they can spend time with their families.
In addition, Samsung Electronics announced last month that it will increase paid leave by three days from this year and extend maternity leave for spouses from 10 days to 15 days to improve the work-life balance of its employees.
Some companies have even partially introduced a four-day workweek. SK hynix introduced a happy friday last month, which allows employees who have worked 80 hours or more in two weeks to take a break on the third Friday of every month without using vacation.
It is reported that executives and team leaders took the initiative to take a break in order to induce the participation of employees.
SK Telecom (SKT) has been operating the happy friday system since January 2020. As with SK Hynix, the third Friday of every month is a day off, and the working hours on that day are redistributed over other days.
SKT, which has been operating this system for the past two years, has decided to expand the happy friday initiative to twice a month from next month in consideration of higher employee satisfaction and work efficiency.