Industry officials said on Tuesday that South Korean information technology (IT) companies permitted their employees to go back to remote work from home for a second time as a safety measure amid the increase of coronavirus infections recently.
The government stated on Tuesday that 246 new coronavirus cases emerged, including 235 local infections, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Center. The new cases of COVID infections increased suddenly last week due to mass gatherings in churches in Seoul.
On Sunday, the government implemented strict social distancing in Seoul and its neighboring areas and raised protocols to Level 2 in the three-tier system for two weeks. On Tuesday, the country reported a total of infected cases to 15,761.
Social distancing entails series of strategies aimed to prevent people from gathering in crowds. The strategies also include working from home, canceling school, and avoiding personal meetings.
Return of Remote Working
Many leading IT firms briefly assumed teleworking and work-at-home schedules in late February as a preventive measure to combat infections. However, companies returned to their usual working arrangements in August after assessing that the situation has normalized.
Naver Corp., Korea’s leading internet operator, permitted their employees to work from home from late February until the end of April and reduced their working schedules to four days. The company began a partial work-at-home set up last week, which allowed employees to work at the office for two days and work remotely at home for four days.
Kakao Corp., the operator of South Korea’s leading messaging platform called Kakao Talk, directed its employees to work from home starting last Friday. A company official said that the work-from-home directive would remain indefinitely as a precautionary measure against COVID-19. The company first shifted to the remote working system in late February and reverted to the regular scheme last July 7.
Gaming developer, Nexon Co., announced it would start a partial work-from-home schedule where employees only work at home for two days a week.
SK Telecom also instructed its employees to work from starting August 18 to 23 and reduce face-to-face contact.
Likewise, KT Corp. ordered its employees in Seoul, Gyeonggi, Incheon, and Busan to work remotely at home except for some essential workers.