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40 pct of S. Korean firms support work from home amid coronavirus scare: poll

All News 10:34 March 11, 2020

SEOUL, March 11 (Yonhap) -- Four out of 10 companies in South Korea are willing to allow their employees to work from home on hopes of containing the coronavirus outbreak, a poll showed Wednesday.

The South Korean government has urged local communities to take part in social distancing, a series of tactics designed to keep people from gathering in large crowds, including working from home and avoiding in-person meetings.

A survey released by the online job portal Saramin showed about 40.5 percent of the 1,089 local firms said they are allowing their employees to work from home or plan to do so.

This undated file photo shows a citizen walking past a social-distancing campaign poster in Seoul. (Yonhap)

The survey showed about 84.4 percent of these companies said that transferring workplaces from offices to homes will minimize employees' exposure to the fast-spreading COVID-19.

As of Monday, 80.2 percent of the coronavirus cases in South Korea are classified as cluster infection cases, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

By company size, 60.9 percent of big firms supported work from home, while 50.9 percent of midsized firms and 36.8 percent of small enterprises are in favor of giving the option to employees.

By industry type, 73.3 percent of financial and insurance firms, as well as 58.8 percent of information technology companies, are in favor of working from home, followed by 55.6 percent of petrochemical firms and 50 percent of electronics firms.

Participation rates were low among industries that depend heavily on on-site labor, only 14.3 percent in machine and steelmaking, 20.8 percent in construction and 29.7 percent in manufacturing.

South Korea is struggling to fight the coronavirus outbreak, which has killed 60 and infected more than 7,700 others.


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