At the intersection of technology, finance and the Pacific Rim.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Koreans at Work

This from today's Joong Ang Daily Newspaper:

The workplace is not exactly heaven for a lot of us. But in a recent survey, Koreans were among the most stressed and unhappy on the job than employees in 15 other countries. The majority of 1,016 Koreans polled recently by a U.S.-based human resources consulting firm said they are evaluated unfairly, their private life is disrupted by the burden of a huge workload and their work-related stress is intense.

For the full article, please refer to this link.

I have been trying to find this survey, without success yet. Actually, Koreans can take comfort in knowing that they are not alone and that their counterparts in the US have similar concerns. Why do we have these kind of results? These are very complex issues that deserve much reflective thought. And what is the best way for dealing with these issues?

There are no single solutions to complex problems such as this one. Several ways of combatting the issue come to mind. First, companies need to emphasize the development of not just the technical skill set of their workers, but developing the human skill set in its fullness--this means personal development, nurturing a sense of composure, and personal change management. Second, companies will need to adjust to working couples (especially those with kids), not the other way around. Third, companies will need to find ways to enable their employees to "inter-mix" their professional and personal lives. All of these changes would have a tremendous impact on the work environment as we know it. This is a big problem....and opportunities lie for those who can help fix them.


Blogger ky choi said...

When I worked for the big Korean construction company, its owner once decided to support the housing cost for the staffs who was sent to his overseas project offices for helping his employees live with their family. But, this new policy only continued for two years mainly due to the Asian financial crisis in 1997. As an estimator, I thought that this housing cost for site staff is just a peanut comparing to the total project cost, and this would make site staffs more efficient and happy by harmonizing their work and personal lives. Unforturnately, there are no construction companies who support the housing cost and educational fees for their overseas staff at present since then. Construction is the only sector in service industry of Korea which has sent the Koreans to overseas for earning dollars since 1970s, but is struggling to find the right engineers/managers to meet the new demand from the Middle East these days.

10:47 AM  

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